You’ve probably seen calls from many of your local small businesses and other organizations to consider buying a gift card—so you can infuse cash directly into the business now and receive your goods or services when it’s safe to do so.
Another option is prepaying for specific goods or services right now, directly through the business.
Matt McCormick, the founder and general manager of Jet City Device Repair (with two locations in Seattle and Chicago) repairs devices such as laptops, tablets, and phones. He says that prepaying for service you’ll need in the future helps now.
“If customers don’t want to leave their homes, but have a broken phone or tablet that will eventually need fixing, they can prepay for the repair. That would provide the business with a much needed influx of money right now and customers can cash in on their repairs as soon as they feel comfortable coming back into the shop,” he says. “Alternatively, customers can also mail their devices to us and pay online. We’ll fix it and mail it back—without ever physically interacting.”
Engage on Social Media and Review Sites. It’s possible that right now, you don’t have the same kind of disposable income that you once did, and supporting the small businesses you love isn’t financially feasible right now. There are other ways you can do your part, and most of them involve online engagement.
For example, Chandler Tang of the San Francisco-based lifestyle store PostScript asks that you follow the business on Instagram (@post.script.sf) and comment, like, and share the profile. “Engagement truly helps more than ever now,” says Tang.
In addition, writing a Yelp or Google review of a business you love is another helpful tactic, says Tang.