Students should continue supporting local businesses during lockdown


Unsplash/Steve Long

In the last six weeks, there have been roughly 30 million unemployment claims in the U.S., the most in the country since the Great Depression according to Business Insider.

With many businesses being forced to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic and many others having to heavily adjust their operations, people who work at local businesses are either out of work or being heavily affected by the changes. While we are all going through our own struggles during this pandemic, now is more important than ever to support local businesses.

One option is to support local food establishments by ordering takeout and delivery. Food establishments are abiding by strict guidelines and regulations such as wearing masks and sanitizing frequently to make sure their employees and customers are safe and healthy. According to the CDC and FDA, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted through food or food packaging. The current information states that ordering groceries and takeout is currently safe. 

 One big way to support local businesses without spending money is through social media. Whether it’s posting about a business you support on Facebook or retweeting a post from a local business’s page, social media is a great way to increase recognition of local businesses from home. This results in increased customer traffic and sales for these businesses. 

For retail businesses, shopping online helps to continue their sales without needing to leave the house. Because many retail stores are relying solely on online sales to keep up their business after closing storefronts, this is a safe way to show support. Another way to support both retail and food businesses is to give them positive online reviews. That way the business can see customer feedback and stay motivated during this difficult time. 

While it may be a default action to buy essentials from larger corporate businesses, going out of your way to buy from local businesses demonstrates support for them and helps you do your part. Without support from locals, these essential businesses are more likely to suffer and potentially go out of business. This is because support from locals is the only support these businesses depend on. This is what makes it more important to prioritize those over corporate chains. This way, we can prevent these local businesses from having to shut down completely.