In the midst of the COVID-19, the economy is crumbling.

Experts expect that 3 million people will lose their jobs before July.

During these troubling times, small businesses are expected to face the worst of the impact. That includes your favorite local eateries and downtown mom-and-pop shops.

Closures may seem inevitable, but there is something you can do to help. It’s up to the locals in their respective areas to help prevent small businesses from going out of business.

Read on to learn 5 easy ways that you can support small business before it’s too late

1. Support Small Business Instead of Chains

Before your local shop owners need to turn to a bankruptcy lawyer, you can help directly by shopping at their stores.

Despite the self-quarantine regulations, you surely still need to stock up on everyday items like groceries. Perhaps you even need items you wouldn’t usually as a result of the quarantine.

Instead of shopping at large chains like Amazon or Walmart, try to get the items you need from local businesses.

Larger chains have billions to their name and aren’t nearly as threatened by the pandemic. Plus, fewer people are supporting local businesses at this time, so it should be easier to maintain safe distances from other shoppers at those locations.

2. Merch It Up

Another way to support small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic is to buy their merch.

While this applies to bands and musicians struggling during this time as well, lots of local businesses have merch available. From coffee shops to record stores and restaurants, you likely have more options than you realize.

Many of these types of businesses sell mugs, shirts and other special items with their logos on them.

3. Look for Takeout and Delivery Options

Although locations are closed for dine-in eating, a lot of local restaurants are doing their best to provide you with other options.

As a result, you can still get to-go food from many of your favorite locations. In fact, a lot of locations that haven’t in the past are now offering free delivery. So take a night off and order in for the good of the community!

You don’t have to worry about getting sick from these options either. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has issued statements explaining that as long as you wash your hands before and after, you can’t get the Coronavirus from Takeout or Delivery.

4. Shop Ahead of Time

Do you want to help support small businesses but don’t need what they’re offering right now? Then shop ahead of time!

There are so many events throughout the year that people have to shop for, including birthday parties and holidays. You can support local shops now when they need it most by buying ahead of time.

Don’t know what you’ll want down the road?

Go ahead and purchase a gift card instead! You’ll support the economy without collecting a lot of items at once.

5. Spread the Word

If you’re like a lot of people struggling through these times, there’s the chance you don’t have the money to help where you’d like to.

If this describes you, you can still help.

Just spread word of the businesses you think others should support through friends, family, and social media. Others might not realize what businesses are still open and struggling.

Do What You Can to Help

No one could have anticipated how drastically COVID-19 would impact the economy and especially those most vulnerable.

You can help support small business in your neighborhood in a variety of ways. Whether you choose to buy their products or merch, practice curb-side options or even just spread the word, you’ll make a world of difference.

To stay safe, be sure to come back for the latest news in your area.

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