It’s Time to Rally: 7 Ways to Support the Local Businesses We Love Right Now

JOY Mural by Wichita Artist, Elisabeth Owens

Author’s Note: This article was originally written on March 13th, 2020. And as we currently face another surge of cases and work together as a community to flatten the curve (again), let’s also come together to do what we can to help our local businesses survive and keep the lights on. We want to see our favorite shops, makers, services, attractions, and restaurants stick around for many years to come!

It has been shocking, to say the least, to watch the COVID-19 virus directly impact our everyday lives. And what’s been even more difficult to wrap our minds around is the economic impact we will continue to feel from this pandemic for a very long time. 

Everyone is affected in one way or another. Travel has halted, events and tournaments are cancelled, schools and universities are closing across the country, companies are encouraging employees to work from home. It’s truly devastating. 
And the small local businesses we love are feeling the immediate impact from COVID-19. The coffee shops, breweries, boutiques, non profits, farmers, event organizers – it hurts badly. It is now more important than ever to continue to support these small businesses as they are the true heartbeat of our community. 
Understanding that this is an unprecedented time and we are all watching this unfold before our very eyes, we hope that as a community we can rally together to support local business to help the community bounce back when this virus has run its course. Local business provides employment opportunities, entertainment and fun for families, resources for the under-served population, and most importantly keeps dollars close to home to help the local economy. We must understand the value of local business and strive to support local now more than ever.
We have asked local businesses how we can show them support, especially during this time of crisis. We would love to hear from you if you have other suggestions as well!

Tangible Ways to Support Wichita Local Business:

1. Be Kind. First and foremost – everyone take a deep breath. This is an incredibly stressful time, and it’s important to remember that all of us are feeling the impact. Let’s do our best to be kind in our interactions as the world is off-kilter at the moment. 
2. Shop Local! Even if you don’t feel comfortable getting out and about – many local businesses and shops have online options with local pickup or delivery. Local shops enrich our community, and we think it’s important to continue to support them especially this holiday season (even if it’s offered on Amazon for a few extra dollars). *Here are some of our favorite local gift ideas perfect for anyone on your list! 
3. Dine Local. Many local restaurants offer takeout options, prepared meals, catering, and some even partner with delivery services. So while we are practicing social distancing as a community, restaurants are still open and have ways to get you fed. *Check out this roundup of restaurants offering Thanksgiving Make & Takes or Fully Prepared Meals.
4. Social Media Love. The internet is a scary place right now, but what if we took a few minutes to hop on social media and comment with kindness and appreciation for the businesses we love? Speaking from experience as a small business ourselves, it means the world when someone takes the time to be kind on social media. At Wichita Mom we say this is the equivalent of a virtual thank you. And it’s free!
5. Write a Review. We hear this time and time again, small businesses depend on reviews. It takes only a few moments and makes a significant impact to write a Google or Facebook review for a business you love. 
6. Attend Community Events (when it’s safe again of course). The amount of events that have been cancelled over the last several days are mind blowing and completely devastating. Events provide a way for us to come together as a community face to face, they stimulate the local economy, and they often provide employment for many. When this crisis is stabilized, we can’t wait to get back into the event game…not only providing local events but also attending! *Many Christmas and holiday events are still happening and have safety protocols in place. 
7. Don’t Forget the Non-Profits. Our hearts sincerely go out to the organizations whose funding and operations are being impacted. Don’t forget about the organizations you are passionate about and show them love if you are able. Additionally, The United Way has set up a social services hotline that you can call with any Coronavirus related questions – Call 2-1-1 with questions. *Here is a list of ways to give back to our Wichita community this season.

Also a small business locally owned and operated, Wichita Mom is doing everything we can to provide resources and a bit of encouragement to our local community. We, like so many others, have also been impacted and are so very grateful for this supportive community and welcome any ideas you might have in how we might all come together to support local.