How to help small businesses survive COVID-19

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Katie Hillemeyer, Reporter

As of March 25, all nonessential businesses have been forced to close doors due to coronavirus as per Governor Kevin Stitt’s executive order. Although all businesses will (and have already) taken a hit from the order, none have been more affected than the state’s local businesses. Even though a recent stimulus package just passed will certainly help businesses, no help is more essential than the help of the community.

In desperate times, ingenuity finds a way. Local restaurants have found creative ways to bring food onto the table, without bringing the germs. Picasso Cafe offers a daily curbside pickup service at 11am with call-in orders. A complete list of local restaurants offering take-out or delivery is available here.

Delivery service apps like Postmates and Doordash have been massively helpful as well in supporting local businesses through drivers opting to leave food on porches, rather than knocking on doors to deliver food. Be sure to be ordering from local restaurants as often as you can, and be sure to tip delivery drivers generously.

However, restaurants are a fraction of the local businesses in OKC. To support other service industry small businesses, if you have the means to do so, continue paying for services from businesses who you regularly go to: your hairdresser, favorite barista, gardener, etc., donating directly to businesses, or purchasing gift vouchers to use later. It could be a small sacrifice for you, but a simple $10 could mean the world to a business’s income put on hold due to Coronavirus.

However, if you lack the resources to be able to provide monetary support, a good word for a small business can also go a long way. Leave good reviews for businesses you usually buy from to help promote them and encourage more people to buy from them.

“I think it’s helpful to show your support for your favorites businesses through social media. Send them encouraging words, post what you like most about these businesses, and help share their posts,” said Keep It Local OK co-founder Bryce Bandy.

Keep It Local OK also has a Guide to Local Shopping Online available on their website.

Our local community has always formed the backbone of our small businesses, and now it’s more crucial than ever to continue providing support to keep them afloat.