Pennsylvania is slowly starting to reopen its doors. Each day we are getting closer and closer to the “normal” we knew before COVID-19 ever became a household word. With this new freedom making its way back into our lives, now more than ever, it is crucial that small businesses and farms are the places you support. Every single person in this country has taken a hit one way or another because of this pandemic, but it is the small businesses and farms that might not fully recover. Big companies have plenty of money to keep going. They might have to close a couple of their stores to even out what they lost, but they will be fine. Small businesses do not have that kind of luxury. They have one, possibly two storefronts and their online store. Farms could even have less than that. A lot of them are getting an online presence, but they mainly rely on those small businesses to get their products out there. While you cannot single-handedly save all of these businesses, there are few ways you can keep your favorite businesses open during this crazy time in our history. Here is how you can help:
Shop Online: Even if you cannot get to the shops, you can still support your local businesses by visiting their website and ordering online. With the pandemic, businesses are finding new ways of selling their products. If they did not have a website before, chances are they will have one now. If you can’t find it through a Google search or their Facebook page give them a call to see how you can order! If you are pleased with the service you get tell everyone you know.
Shop Locally: This is the biggest help to any small business. Don’t go to the big-box chains to get your groceries and household supplies. This option is a lot healthier for you as the customer as well! Instead of the product going from warehouse to warehouse with several people touching it, it goes from the farm to the store, to the consumer.
Get A Farm Share: Farm shares give you a direct link to your local farm. A farm share is when you pay upfront to invest in a portion of the next harvest. This upfront payment allows your farmer to get the necessary seeds and supplies needed to grow the crops. During the growing season, the farmer will give your share of fresh produce weekly or biweekly, depending on the program you signed up for and their schedule.
Purchase Gift Cards: Buying gift cards is a wonderful way to support a business. Even though you’re not buying specific items, the company will get the cash from you for the purchase. What is great is you can save them for later use or gift them to your favorite people! Shop small local businesses and help keep the benefits local.