The public health crisis surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is having a significant impact on businesses as Illinois residents are encouraged to shelter-in-place. Many local businesses, from restaurants and retailers to grocery stores and car dealerships, are modifying the way they do business. How can you continue to support businesses in St. Charles during these challenging times?
How to Shop Local During COVID-19
1. Before you go online, check with a local store first.
If you're thinking of placing an online order for an item you ordinarily purchase from a local retailer, call the local vendor or visit their website to see if they have what you need. You might be surprised, many local businesses are offering alternative shopping experiences that weren't previously offered such as online or over-the-phone orders with free shipping or curbside pick-up.
2. Order Delivery or Take-out
Tired of cooking or just really missing your favorite restaurant? Check to see if they are offering curbside pickup or delivery. Many restaurants have adjusted their business model to include these options while dining-in is currently not possible for customers.
3. Buy gift cards Buying a gift card can be a great way to support a local business immediately, even if the brick and mortar store is not currently open. Purchasing a gift card provides valuable revenue to businesses that have had to shut their doors. The great thing about gift cards is that they don't lose value so you can redeem them at a later date or hold on to them to give as gifts to friends and family.
What kind of gift cards can you buy? Think of activities you would like to do once businesses reopen such as going to a movie, bowling or golfing. Or maybe services you will need such as hair cut, massage or an oil change. For some local ideas, check out this list that the St. Charles Business Alliance has put together: https://www.stcalliance.org/gift-cards-and-certificates
4. Spread the word
Leave a positive review for your favorite local spots on Yelp or Google. Have you ordered great take-out recently or found an awesome local deal online? Share it on social media or tell a friend you think would be interested. Spread the word and encourage others to support local businesses!