How can you support Hartford businesses during COVID-19?
We’re living in uncertain times, not only here in Hartford but in communities across the world. Small business owners were quick to feel the economic effects of COVID-19, and the journey isn’t over yet.
It’s been three weeks since South Dakota reported its first case of coronavirus, and as our community navigates this new reality, we wanted to offer some tips on how you can continue to support local small businesses in the Hartford area. The Chamber is monitoring business changes daily and providing an updated list of closures, hours, and pick-up or delivery options on its website. You can access that list here.
It’s important to remember, however, that support doesn’t have to be financial. If patronizing your favorite small businesses isn’t an option for your family right now, there are other ways you can show you care.
Our community is only as strong as the relationships and people that have formed it, and during this time of social distancing, relationships take a little more effort than usual. Here are a few ways you can show your support.
Businesses are only successful because of the people behind them, and if you’re lucky enough to be part of a tight-knit community like Hartford, you understand that more than most people. Chances are, if you shop at a local business you probably know the owner. They may even be a friend or relative.
During this difficult time, these people need all the love and support we can offer them. If you can’t support a business financially, please consider sharing and engaging with their posts on social media or writing them a positive review. Both revenue and morale could use a boost right now.
Make purchases online or order takeout
If you are financially able, many of our favorite local businesses are offering online or phone ordering. Visit your favorite restaurant or coffeehouse for takeout, and don’t forget to tip.
Ordering online or over the phone isn’t limited to restaurants, however. Businesses like Backdoor Garden and the Hartford Building Center are also offering these services, as well as curbside pick-up.
Buy a gift card
Gift cards are another impactful way to support a business. If you know you’ll be visiting them once things calm down, buy a gift card to use in the future. You can also take advantage of the opportunity to buy birthday or Christmas gifts in advance. Even businesses that have closed temporarily are likely willing to sell gift cards and make them available for pick-up or mail them directly to you.
Commit to shopping local
Shopping locally is more important now than ever before. Before you rush to fill your Amazon cart, take a moment to think about how you could make those purchases locally instead. Businesses are willing to adapt in order to stay afloat, and so far, we’ve witnessed Hartford’s community stepping up to the task.
Don’t be afraid to ask a business owner how you can best support them. A boutique that might not normally offer gift wrapping or delivery is probably more than willing to do so now. Most businesses are also happy to share the extra precautions they’re taking to keep customers safe.
“It’s been encouraging to hear from those customers who are still supporting the local businesses and the owners who are making the extra effort to find a way to continue,” said Stacy Wengler, chair of the Chamber’s marketing committee and owner of local business, Knotty Gnome Variety & Salvage. “It’s going to continue to be stressful to change the ways we operate and go about our everyday lives, but we have to continue to work together to lift people up and keep the community spirit together, even though it might be online and not in person.”