Our New Virtual Reality Amidst COVID-19

While there is a needed response to the COVID-19 epidemic to limit spread through social interaction, it can be devastating to communities and individuals who own and work in all sorts of industries. The good news is, there is still plenty you can do to support your local business community:

1. Order Takeout or Delivery

Your favorite restaurants may have had to shut their doors or limit their capacity,  but many of them still offer takeout or delivery. Not only does that keep the business going, but it also provides income to these independently owned businesses and their staff. Services like Door Dash and Grub Hub have sent information to customers and drivers to help ensure safe--and in some cases, contact-less deliveries. Delivery Dudes is waiving its fees altogether for at-home delivery. Some restaurants have call-in specials you can find by checking their online listings. VIEW OUR POST ON RESTAURANT DELIVERY AND TAKE OUT OPTIONS

2. Buy Gift Cards

Want to inject some cash into a small business right now? Buy a gift card!
With holidays like Mother's Day and Father's Day on the horizon, gift cards purchased for spa services, dinner at their favorite restaurant, fishing excursions, or even annual memberships to places like Bonnet House and gift passes for Water Taxi, are just some of the ways you can give your local businesses a  vote of confidence when life returns to normal.

3. Shop Local Businesses Online

Many local businesses have online stores in addition to their brick-and-mortar locations. Whenever possible, consider giving them your business. Looking for that super cute bikini when you can once again hit the beach? Check out South Florida based Surf Style's online shop for everything you need, or purchase a gift card to use at the local Maui Nix or Crocs at Beach Place, Fort Lauderdale Beach.

If you're missing the new Las Olas Oceanside Park Market a new Virtual Farmers Market is viewable to shop online.

4. Use Credit or Debit Cards

When you do go shopping, use a credit or debit card instead of cash. Paper money and coins pass through so many hands and carry all types of germs. Limiting the amount of cash you use can help limit the spread of those germs, which is especially important right now. The benefit of credit card usage is also the cashback or hotel points you may receive from your credit card provider. 

5. Stay Home if You're Sick

Don't put others at risk if you're sick. That seems like common sense, but consider using a delivery service if there's something you really need. Many of the small businesses in your community are working hard to get through this. The last thing they need is for their employees to get sick because a customer went out when they shouldn't have.

6. Be Patient

In many cases, businesses are working at a dramatically reduced capacity. There's a good chance that you'll experience longer waits or encounter out-of-stock items. Trust me, every business is feeling that pain. They want nothing more than to be able to meet your needs. When they can't, extend a little grace and patience, remembering that they're working hard to stay open and serve their community.

7. Say Thank You

When you do go to the grocery store to buy what you need, be sure to say thanks to the employees who are hard at work stocking shelves. It can be easy to forget that many of those employees are working overtime to keep their store clean and full of the food and supplies customers need. A simple thank you and elbow bump can go a long way to spreading a little gratitude and goodwill.