Brooke McDonald, writer for EnjoyStevie, discusses how to support local businesses during the COVID-19 lockdown in three simple ways
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take its toll on our everyday lives, it is important we maintain high spirits and support each other and our local communities as much as possible. As non-essential stores remain closed until further notice, there is little we can do to help with this reality. However, for those small local shops and convenience stores that continue to provide us with our essential items and necessities, there are steps put in place to help support local businesses during lockdown.
With this said, let’s discuss how we as individuals can help see our long-standing local businesses survive through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Treat yourself to a takeaway
As the food service delivery market value grew to a staggering £8.5 billion in 2019, it’s no secret that the ease of an already made meal is a desirable option for everyone every now and then. Therefore, now is a better time than ever to treat you and your family to an occasional takeaway and make use of that restaurant discount you have lying around to help keep your favourite local takeaways in business. Now, the issue of ensuring that your food is delivered and consumed with no risk of contracting the coronavirus is something that plays on everyone’s mind. However, putting in place some basic safety precautions when your food has been delivered can help relieve this concern.
Firstly, delivery instructions. Thanks to food delivery apps such as Uber Eats and Just Eat, adding a side note to your delivery driver asking them to leave the food at your door, or to meet you at the foot of your drive to prevent being in close contact with them, is made easy. By putting these basic safety precautions in place, it limits the risk of spreading the virus through close physical contact with others. When it comes to eating your takeaway, there is no evidence to suggest that the virus can be contracted through food, however disposing of the packaging it was delivered in and washing your hands after is advised.
Show your gratitude to delivery drivers by giving them a tip! Not only is it important to support your local businesses, but also those that work for them — especially under the current societal circumstances. As the World Health Organisation clarifies no warning against using paper money throughout the pandemic, giving a little something extra to those that continue to work is another way you can boost your community’s welfare.
Go local over long lines
With market leader supermarkets including Tesco, Morrisons, and Aldi going to extra lengths to ensure their customers remain safe whilst shopping, this has come at the cost of lengthy queues and long wait times to get into their stores. Although these are all necessary procedures that have been established, those of our smaller local stores have went to the same lengths and yet are less likely to have the lengthy queues that come attached. To prevent our long-standing local corner shops and convenience stores from financially suffering during this time, let’s discuss the pros for both them and you for continuing to shop locally.
As previously mentioned, the queues. As hundreds from your surrounding local areas join the back of the line to fight over toilet paper and pasta packets, others are waiting in shorter lines to by the exact same products only five minutes down the road from their home. Shopping locally not only means you’ll be in contact with less people for a shorter amount of time, it will also help maintain local stores’ sales levels and financial stability throughout this pandemic.
Bring a warm welcome back to our butchers
Although the likes of local farm shops and butchers aren’t considered to be an essential store and are therefore closed during this time, as government restrictions begin to lift in the near future, it is vital we welcome them back with a community full of support. This is another key way to support local businesses, not during the lockdown, but imminently after. Not only have the butchers that own these local shops financially suffered, the likes of farmers have too, followed by an abundance of independent farm owners and harvesters.
Although the common assumption is that buying meat from local butchers is more expensive than buying it from supermarkets, the benefits of buying from such are often overlooked. The quality and freshness of the meat for a start is undoubtedly better than what is offered in supermarkets, all provided to you by the reassurance from your local butcher that you’re getting what you paid for. Not only that, by sourcing your meat locally, you are providing financial support to local farmers, butchers, and harvesters who all receive a share of your purchase.
When lockdown restrictions become more lenient, help support your local residents that work in the primary sector, by sourcing your desired meat, pastries, fruits, and vegetables from them directly. After all, what would we do without them?
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the economy as a whole is inevitably going to be affected by its aftermath. Although we cannot single-handedly do anything to stop this, we can financially and physically support the local communities around us to help them survive and prosper through this time and thereafter.
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