Ways to Support Local Memphis Businesses while “Social Distancing”
By: Lizzie Moody
While there is no doubt that COVID-19 has caused a lot of anxiety in Memphis, there are many ways that we can come together to help give back to our city in this time of uncertainty. Local restaurants and stores are part of what makes Memphis so special, and now it is more important than ever to support them in any way we can. This outbreak affects not only the local businesses, but also the lives of the servers, baristas, cashiers, and their families. While major stores and chains are more likely to survive a decrease in customers, local stores will have a harder time recovering from a drastic drop in revenue. As we practice “social distancing” to prevent the further spread of coronavirus, I would encourage you to consider participating in some of these ways that can help the local businesses and restaurants in our city. In a time that is hard for many people, let’s spread generosity and love to those around us and support the local businesses that make Memphis our home.
- Order takeout or curbside delivery
Almost every restaurant in Memphis is now offering either takeout or curbside delivery as an option because they have closed their dining rooms. These options tend to be better than outside delivery services like Uber Eats or Grub Hub which take part of the profit from the restaurant. Check out a variety of different cuisines offering these services such as Central BBQ, City Silo Table + Pantry, Soul Fish Cafe, The Beauty Shop, Pimento’s Kitchen + Market, Holiday Deli and Ham, Skybox Grill, Cafe Palladio, Swanky’s Taco Shop, Muddy’s Bake Shop, and so many others.
- Buy Gift Cards
Buying gift cards is one of the best and easiest ways to support local businesses right now. This way, restaurants or boutiques will get the money when they need it most, while you can spend it later. Some businesses that are closed even offer an online option where customers can purchase gift cards.
- Buy other merchandise
In addition to pre-made food, you can buy other goods from restaurants like shirts, mugs, sauces, or bags of coffee. Some bakeries like Sweet Lala’s Bakery and 17Berkshire are even selling cookie decorating kits, which come with cookies, icing bags, and sprinkles, for a fun activity to do while stuck at home.
- Tip Generously
It is important to remember to tip the waiter or waitress, an equal or even greater amount than you would if you were normally eating in the restaurant. Since workers’ wages are significantly reduced right now, this is one way that customers can help them out a little more.
- Don’t forget other local businesses
Although the main focus is on the decline of restaurants and concern for their workers, it is important to remember other small businesses that are also struggling because people are not getting out. For example, the local bookstore Novel is also offering curbside pick-up and delivery. So, grab a new book to read in your extra free time you have at home.
- Shop online
Not all boutiques or small stores have online shopping, but if they do, this is a great way to support these businesses while not having to go out in public. However, if you are choosing to shop online, instead of ordering something on Amazon, try to find it at one of the local stores so that your money will be making a difference in Memphis
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