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  • Writer's pictureWalter Recher

Think Small/Shop Local - Support Local Businesses In Times of Crisis

With so much uncertainty in the world, there are plenty of things to worry about, but we are also seeing people come together to help each other like nothing we have experienced since 9/11. And with the recent news about closing "non-essential" businesses here in New York State (though curiously, liquor stores will remain open), many others will continue to be open, including restaurants, grocery stores, and other food related businesses that offer takeout and deliveries.

So, what we can we do to help? In the true American spirit of pulling together, we can patronize local businesses in our communities as often as we can, as many are fighting to survive, and they really need us now. These are the same good people that sponsor our Little League teams and Girl Scouts, that pitch in to help our local nonprofit organizations with donations or in-kind contributions to provide food and beverages for community events, and who remain open when we need them at times like these.

Small businesses are at the very heart of our communities in so many ways, as they employ our neighbors, kids, and seniors. Without them, we will all feel their pain if they are sent home without a safety net that larger businesses offer.

Want to do your part to keep them open and operating? Here are some tips to consider to help them survive and thrive in the days ahead:

1. Order Take-Out - nothing against the larger chains, but they can ride this crisis out better than the entrepreneurs who operate on thin profit margins.

2. Purchase Gift Cards - you would be surprised at how many offer these; check their websites to see which ones do, and help support their them now so they remain open in the future.

3. Tip More Generously - yes, many of us are strapped for funds, and worried about our own futures, but if you can spare a bit more, this would be the time.

4. Shop Online - again, if available, this is a good way to help them ride out the crisis and stay in business.

5. Pick Up the Phone - just a brief call to let them know you care, and will be there for them if they need anything. Offer to volunteer and pick something up for them. Finally....

6. Spread the Word! - keep them top of mind, front and center, as we go through this together. Go to their social media pages and post a positive comment or recommendation, and share it with others, and let them know they are still open.

We will survive this, working together, and the small businesses you help today will be a lasting legacy we will all embrace and be proud of. We need to do something now, as for many, if they were to close, may never open again.

But if we step up and support them today, then one day, in the not too distant future, we will look back at this as a feel good moment when we came together as a true community, in a time of need.

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