With dine-in service restrictions in place for an extended time this spring, our local restaurant community is hurting. Many were forced to close their doors during quarantine, a time when spring break traffic would have otherwise boosted revenue during the shoulder season. Owners and employees at every level have been greatly impacted, and to recover they will need our sustained patronage in the months to come. Consider trying a different locally-owned restaurant for dinner each week this summer, and remember to choose valley-owned when going out for coffee and lunch, too.
Unlike restaurants which at least had the option of offering take-out during quarantine, the valley’s small shops and boutiques were forced to close completely to reduce public health risk. Although online shopping is tempting, our local retail establishments will continue to offer personalized service and unique products which can only be found in brick-and-mortar. Visit the shops you love as soon as they’re open again, or call/email to grab gift cards for future purchases. Plan a shopping date with friends at one of the valley’s downtown areas this summer, and catch up while keeping your dollars local.
EVENTS & TOURISM
Any activity involving even the smallest group of people has been halted for weeks, meaning that event service companies and tourism attractions have been left in devastating limbo. If you’ve been planning an event for later this year, try not to let current uncertainty impact future plans; call your event specialists to discuss options. Encourage your out-of-town visitors to postpone but not cancel their travel itineraries, and sit down with your own family to dream up plans for enjoying local entertainment when the valley is back open. Staycation, anyone?
HOME & REAL ESTATE
Many small businesses offering services for the home (think housekeepers, carpenters, plumbers, designers) have not been able to work for weeks during quarantine. Reach out to the professionals who help you maintain your home, and ask how you can best offer support. If you’ve been looking to buy or sell, the local real estate economy is still in operation and open for business. Brokers and photographers (like Estate Photo Video) have adapted their work to meet important social distancing standards to keep clients safe.
HOW TO HELP: A QUICK-REFERENCE GUIDE
Stay in the know. Follow your favorite local businesses on social media for updates about re-openings, sales, food specials, and events.
Commit to buying local. Make a fun challenge to do all your gift-buying this year at valley boutiques, purchase outdoor gear from local outfitters, and buy meat/produce from regional farmers this summer.
Buy now, use later. Don’t have an immediate need for the services of your favorite business? Stock up on gift cards, schedule advance appointments, and contact them to discuss your future needs.
Skip the refund. If you bought tickets for one of the valley’s cancelled performances or arts programs this season, consider writing the cost off as a donation to the organization.
Write some reviews. The businesses you care about could use a boost from your five-star reviews on Facebook, Yelp, and Google right now.