Helping each other
SMALL BUSINESS RESOURCESThe Moses Lake Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the Grant County Economic Development Council has been working with great effort to keep up to date on available resources.
BUSINESS GUIDE AND RESOURCES
(This page was updated on June 18, 2020) New resources have been added throughout. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________
COMMUNITY SPIRITThe commitment of our local businesses to their community, even in this challenging time, is incredibly moving. It is these local businesses that have supported us for years that now have us asking, "How can we help support them?"
Here are ten things you can do right now to support your small-business community:
1. Takeout and DeliveryYour go-to restaurants are working hard to serve you. Many have websites with convenient menus for easy decisions, online ordering, safe pickup (some offer curb-side), delivery, and even discounts on your meals! Fast, easy, convenient, delicious. Visit the website and/or Facebook page of your favorite place for food, coffee, beer, wine, ...merrymaking. You will be glad you did.
2. Tip a little more than usualConsider being a little extra generous on the tips for wait staff and delivery people. A bigger tip may not directly contribute to a restaurant's bottom line, but it does help others, and it contributes to the spirit of goodwill and appreciation in the community.
3. Gift CardsWhen you can't visit a local business now, but you know you'll want to later, everyone wins when you buy a gift card. Those businesses can record some revenue on their books, and you have something fun to look forward to later. Visit the website and/or Facebook page of your favorite place to shop and see what's in store for your future!
4. Shop Local Businesses OnlineMany local businesses have online stores in addition to their store locations. Whenever possible, consider giving them your business before hitting 'buy' on Amazon Prime. Try to be as thoughtful as possible with where you, as a consumer, invest your dollars.
5. Schedule a service for laterCoronavirus has created the ultimate cancel culture, but all those missed reservations and skipped services are stressing out local workers. If you can, schedule works with a cleaner, a painter, a plumber, a contractor, or a salon. Merely knowing that work is coming their way can alleviate some anxiety and make a big difference in helping them weather this difficult time.
6. Keep paying the people who work for youMore then likely, you've canceled the piano lessons and sent the housekeeper away. But that doesn't mean you should stop paying them. Maybe throw one of those gift certificates their way while you're at it.
7. Reschedule - don't cancelSmall businesses that hold events rely on event income to stay in business. With event cancellations happening daily, it can be a terrifying time for locally owned event spaces. If you have to cancel an event, try to reschedule instead of asking for a refund.
8. Skip the refundIf you missed a local show that you had tickets for, consider writing it off as a donation instead of asking for your money back. Now's also a great time to sign up for that membership to your local nonprofit arts association or subscribe to the summer theater series.
9. Give your favorite local businesses shout-outs on your social mediaThe best way to continue to support local businesses is to let your community know they still exist. Share on social media your favorite local stores and encourage your community to do the same.
10. Volunteer your servicesThink about what skills you might offer to businesses on a volunteer basis. Are you a web designer? Finance whiz? You may be able to put those skills to use for good.
AND, while you are at it...
Say Thank YouWhen you do go to the grocery store to buy what you need, be sure to say thanks to the employees who are hard at work stocking shelves. It can be easy to forget that many of those employees are working overtime to keep their store clean and full of the food and supplies customers need. A simple thank you can go a long way to spreading a little gratitude and goodwill.
Be PatientIn many cases, businesses are working at a dramatically reduced capacity. There's a good chance that you'll experience longer waits or encounter out-of-stock items. Trust me, every industry is feeling that pain. They want nothing more than to be able to meet your needs. When they can't, extend a little grace and patience, remembering that they're working hard to stay open and serve their community.
Stay Home if You're SickDon't put others at risk if you're sick. That seems like common sense, but consider using a delivery service if there's something you need. Many of the small businesses in your community are working hard to get through this. The last thing they need is for their employees to get sick because a customer went out when they shouldn't have.