10 Ways to Support Local Businesses During a Pandemic

10 Ways to Support Local Businesses During a Pandemic

Support Local Businesses During a Pandemic.

Small businesses have had to endure a lot since the beginning of the pandemic known as Covid-19.  Retail stores, restaurants, hair and nail salons, and recreational venues were closed and now that they are allowed to open, have to limit the number of patrons to conform to social distancing rules. Some businesses can’t hire staff because some people are afraid they will get sick if they go back to work.

When we support local business, we are supporting the local economy. Now is the time to help small businesses who need our patronage now more than ever. Here are some ways to do just that.

Support Local Businesses by Shopping Local

Look first to your local retailers – hardware stores, pharmacies, groceries, shoe stores, clothing boutiques, liquor stores. Don a mask and visit the stores for what you need. Check to see if they offer online selling with pickup or delivery service.

You can find local businesses to support by visiting your local Chambers of Commerce.

Some local chambers in our Area include:

North Central MA Chamber of Commerce

Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce

Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce

Worcester Area Chamber of Commerce

Support Local Businesses by Shopping locally online

Whether it is a retail store, supermarket, or restaurant, you can order online and then arrange for pick up or delivery.

To shop small local eEommerce stores visit over 2592 all over America on PRIVY.com

Support Local Businesses by Purchasing Gift Cards

Buy now and plan to use your gift cards later or for an online purchase. Your purchase helps keep cash flowing and doors open.

Buy Local Gift Cards from the North Central MA Region Today!

Support Local Businesses by Being a Generous Tipper

Wait staff depend on tips as their hourly rate is lower than you think. When there are fewer customers, the daily or weekly take-home takes a hit. Be generous and apply a larger than normal percentage to your tab for a tip.

Become a Discount Shopper Locally

If you haven’t yet discovered the joy of getting a bargain, be on the lookout for small businesses that are offering steep discounts to boost revenue. Purchase larger than normal quantities of sale items and you’ll be helping to keep a small business in business.

Order Local Restaurant Fare for Take Out

Preparing three meals a day at home can be a daunting task. Take a break and order take out for curb service or home delivery. Many restaurants are offering a limited menu at discounted pricing. You can order direct or through a food delivery service like UberEats.com or DoorDash.com. If the weather is nice and your favorite restaurant has outside table service, consider going out to eat.

Support Local Businesses and your Experiences on Social Media

Give your favorite stores and restaurants a “high five” by posting a review on social media. Whether you like standard review sites like yelp.com or reviews on the business Facebook page or if you enjoy snapping a photo of your food or purchase, the business will appreciate and benefit from the free exposure.

Keep Up Your Local Memberships if You Can

Even if you can’t attend the gym or class that was cancelled or live performance that didn’t happen, consider donating the cost to the business. If you had season tickets and half the season was cancelled, donate the unused portion rather than request a refund. These small donations will go a long way to ensuring a business or not-for-profit will be there next season when things are hopefully back to normal.

Many local businesses play it very “close to the vest” and will not be able to withstand several months with no or little revenue. Selecting one or more of the tips above, will not only be appreciated and remembered, it might be the difference between an OPEN or CLOSED sign in the months to come.

Halloween Decorations Made from Used Cardboard

Halloween Decorations Made from Used Cardboard

If you just moved in you’ll have plenty of leftover cardboard boxes on hand. Most of these boxes are destined for the dumpster, but before you toss them, consider making them into Halloween decorations so they can pull double duty before you’re done with them.

 

Cardboard Tombstones

First, you’ll have to figure out the sizes and shapes you want your tombstones to be. Cut out two of that shape to make it 3D and be sure to leave some cardboard at the bottom to fold over.

Use two pieces of cardboard the same length as your tombstones, each with a slit in the middle so you can put them together to created an X shape. Next, stand up the two tombstone pieces, fold over the bottom and tape them together with packing tape. Measure the width and height you’ll need to fill the sides of the tombstone and tape them to the sides.

Put the cardboard X inside your tombstone and tape it to one side to keep int standing and stop it from collapsing inwards. You’ll also want to put some small bags of sand or bricks in the base so it doesn’t fall over or blow away.

Next, you’ll want to give the tombstone a consistent exterior. You can coat it with a layer of paper mache to cover up the joints. Once it’s dry you can paint it, but you may want to coat it with some textured paint first to give it a rocky finish.

Use some stencils to add RIP or anything else you want on the tombstone. You can spray paint them with a darker color directly to the surface, or hot glue cut outs of letters to the tombstone. You can add some extra details if you like using other cardboard pieces or create a spiderweb effect with hot glue. Then stand them up and creepify your front lawn! For more detailed directions and pictures, check out this link.

 

Simple Little Ghosts

Cut out some little ghost shapes from cardboard boxes. You can make as many as you want. Slip these shapes into a white plastic bag and tape the back so that the plastic pulls taught. Use black construction paper to cut out a face and glue to the ghost. You can prop these ghosts in windows, tape them to the glass, or even hang them from the ceiling with a bit of string to haunt the room.

 

Spooky Ghost Town

With clean milk cartons and newspaper, you can make your own mini ghost town decorations. Glue the newspaper onto the milk cartons and paint windows and doors onto cardstock to glue onto the front of the newspaper-covered milk cartons. You can draw in creepy people, cats, ghosts, or pumpkins and even fill the cartons with candy for fun.

Just make sure the milk cartons have been thoroughly washed and dried before you start.

 

Robot Costume

Take a big cardboard box and cut out holes for arms, legs, and the head. Then cover the box in aluminum foil and secure it with tape. You can hunt around your house for shiny objects like CDs, or balls of tin foil or little buttons to tape or glue to the box to add details.

Take another smaller cardboard box, like a wide square shoe box, to make a headpiece. Decorate that as well and tape a string or strap to go under your chin so that it stays in place.

 

Wheelchair Costume Ideas

Cardboard boxes are the perfect way to make an elaborate costume for any kid that uses a wheelchair. The boxes are versatile and can do transform into a lot of different vehicles and platforms for your trick-or-treater.

Use a big box and some paints and make a pizza delivery truck or get fancy and shape some cardboard into The Batmobile. You can make Cinderella’s carriage with a cardboard pumpkin and cut out wheels, with painted-on doors and details. If your kids love Mario Kart, build the kart around their chair and press them and get the character’s costume so they can zoom from house to house on Halloween.

Moving Tip Monday: Shred Old Files

Before you move, shred any old files you have.  Paperwork that you no longer need with personal information should be shredded and disposed of.  Transport with you any documents you may need immediately (taxes, billing information and loan information).  By keeping these documents with you and securing them upon moving, you’ll be able to also protect your personal information from being stolen.  Also please, don’t forget to change your address so your mail with your information gets sent to your new address.Moving Tip Monday: Shred Old Files

Moving Tip Monday: When to Contact Utilities

Contact your utility companies one month prior.  Find out what you need to do to close out your old utilities and open up accounts for your new ones.  Provide a move in and move out date so that you don’t get additional charges or get your utilities shut off unexpectedly.

 

Moving Tip Monday: When to Contact Utilities