How To Support Local Businesses & Nonprofits During COVID-19

Introduction

COVID-19 may have canceled events and shut the doors of many local and national businesses, but how can we ensure our favorite, restaurant, shop, salon or nonprofit will be there when this is all over? At Rentwear, we serve thousands of local businesses, so we wanted to find a few unique ways to build them up during the pandemic. You might have to get creative, but there are still plenty of things you can do to support your favorite establishments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Restaurants and Bars

restaurants and bars

Many of you know by now, but many restaurants and bars are still open for delivery and carryout. Taking advantage of these services will not only help keep your favorite local eateries open but will also save you a trip or two to the crowded grocery store. You can also purchase a gift card for your favorite restaurant and use it when they reopen.

There are plenty of resources for finding restaurants open for delivery in your area. Services like DoorDash and Uber Eats are still available in northeast Ohio. And there are Facebook groups like this one where restaurants and customers alike can share recommendations and their favorite take out/delivery spots.

From the Community

"We ask that you continue to include us in the memories you are making during this time. I have faith that we will all be able to look back at this and find something to smile about."
Keri Sullivan, owner of The Barrel Room
“We are dedicated to keeping as many Bender's employees working as possible during this difficult time. We are offering our classic dishes, as well as comfort foods for the family, for carryout and courtesy delivery (see our website for delivery details.) We have adventured out to open Canton Provisions Company, an online food company serving downtown Canton and surrounding areas, specializing in fresh seafood, prime steaks and fine wines. This has been challenging on many of us, but we are trying our best to continue to serve our customers, community and staff.”
Elizabeth Jacob, co-owner of Bender’s Tavern and Canton Provisions Company

Salons, Spas and Barbershops

hair salons, spas and barbershops

With salons closed, who knows what we'll look like by the time this is all said and done (probably similar to Tom Hanks in Cast Away). That said, most salons, spas and barbershops offer gift cards and allow you to join a waitlist to get your appointment scheduled after they reopen. Some will even deliver your hair products to you, so you don’t need to venture out to find them.

These actions may seem small, but they go a long way toward keeping your favorite salon or barbershop in business.

From the Community

“We are offering online gift cards and a waitlist texting service so our customers can get an appointment on the books as soon as everything clears up. Don’t worry – we won’t judge your hair. We know it’s been a while!”
Molly Selinsky, stylist at Modern Hairitage Salon

Retail Shops

retail shops
While most retailers are closed, many have an e-commerce website that allows you to shop online and have products delivered right to your door. Other shops enable customers to browse their catalog online, then email or Facebook message them the product they'd like to purchase. While it's not the typical shopping experience we're used to, there are still ways to buy from and support local businesses.

From the Community

“We can share our online catalogs with our customers, especially if they have an upcoming wedding and would like to explore options. We could ship any inventory that we have in stock, such as religious medals, crosses, earrings, etc. We could forward pics and continue to be their personal shopper and gift wrap it to ship for a birthday or anniversary or just to cheer a loved one’s day! Our email address is [email protected].”
Anne-Marie Beris, owner of Anne-Marie's Fine Jewelry
“Typically, Toulou reaches its customers in person at markets and with private shopping, but now due to our present economy, we have been integrating all our jewelry to our online store at shoptoulou.com utilizing social media and word-of-mouth to advertise our unique, handcrafted jewelry made by silversmiths around the world. One day the vision is for a storefront, but I am fortunate that dream did not come true last year. (I never thought I would say that.)”
Amy Weisbrod, owner of Toulou Foundry & Goods

Nonprofits

nonprofits
Many nonprofits offer volunteer opportunities and host events throughout the year. However, with everyone in quarantine volunteering has gone by the wayside as have events. But you can always support your favorite charitable organization by going online and making a donation to help them achieve their goals during and after the quarantine.

From the Community

“During these uncertain times, we are ready to offer financial relief to breast cancer patients in Ohio. As many face unemployment, the need for assistance is greater than ever. Individuals wishing to support our mission can donate online at https://www.josettememorial.org/donate. For assistance, visit https://www.josettememorial.org/assistance. JBMF can’t cure breast cancer.  But we can, with your support, help the strong women of Northeast Ohio who suffer from this horrible disease. Be well, and have hope.”
Mary Beddell, president of Josette Beddell Memorial Foundation
Our main goal is always to support Stark County — both businesses and individuals. During these trying times, we're continuing to offer immediate need relief. And we're doing our best to patronize and highlight local businesses that have supported us in the past. If you'd like to join in or let us know about someone who needs our help, please visit our website or reach out to us on Facebook.
Chellsea Petri, marketing director for the Canton Chapter of the Foundation for Community Betterment

Conclusion

Things may seem bleak now, but those of us who are lucky to still have a little bit of money in our pockets can help our favorite local businesses and nonprofits survive this unprecedented pandemic. Ordering carryout, purchasing gift cards, shopping online and making donations will go a long way toward establishing a new normal once this is all said and done.

Want to show your support and do something fun? Use this bingo board to play Local Business Bingo and share your results on social media!

Connor is the Director of Marketing at Rentwear Inc. and writes about how uniform, floor mat and linen service can help your company.
Connor Clay