In the face of 24/7 COVID-19, it can be difficult to create a blog that doesn’t cover something already out there—breaking news, takeout roundups and other ways to help restaurants, lists of temporary closures, and what I want to give a shout out to: supporting your local businesses. I won’t kid you. This blog will probably just tell you what you already know about supporting your local businesses. Here goes, anyway.
Don’t let your homebody habits undercut your support for local businesses. You can offer financial support through gift cards, changing any ticket refunds into a donation, and of course, contributing to any emergency fundraisers they have created for their employees. Many of your favorite local businesses might be offering curbside pickup or online specials, so make sure to check those out. For a few examples:
- The Fitting Room is open for private in-person and virtual appointments, and it offers curbside and some delivery. As always, you can shop its online selection (which is growing every day).
- In addition to its online selection, Local Motion is highlighting select fashions with Facebook and Instagram live events. Purchase the looks during the event on the feed or contact the store afterward, and keep up with their posts inbetween for Steals of the Day.
- Minneapolis Vintage Market decided to postpone its March 22 event, so it’s highlighting a different vendor every day on its Instagram and posting available products to its story at @mplsvintagemarket.
If you want to donate to an overarching fund, consider ones by organizations like Springboard for the Arts. (Also, regarding a personal pet peeve: Please shop for grocery items responsibly. Don’t be the cause of another person’s food shortage.)
If you don’t have the loose cash, make sure everyone knows how much you love your local businesses by sharing their products, news, and calls for support on social media and with friends. See if there are petitions floating around that you care about, such as Financial Relief for Minnesota’s Small Businesses.
COVID-19 affects everyone a little differently. The restaurant industry, local breweries, the salon and beauty industry, retail, arts and culture, local fitness spots… If staying inside means you’re not going to these businesses or events, the people behind them are feeling the pressure. Jobs that you might not think of right away are affected too, such as substitute teachers, client-based businesses from architecture to software, and more. So be kind to your neighbor, and if you’re able to, please support them as well.
Normally at the end of Style + Shopping, I try to include a couple of wedding events, but for now I just want to say to all those who have had to change their wedding plans: I’m sorry that your big day isn’t going to be exactly what you envisioned, but I hope you are still able to create a beautiful, everlasting moment with the love of your life.