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How to Support Local Businesses During COVID-19

chalk board saying 'thank you for shopping local'

The outbreak of COVID-19 has completely reshaped our world as well as our local communities. How we interact with one another, how we work, and how we shop is changing every day, as businesses learn to adjust to this new reality. Although it won’t last forever, the adjustments that small and local business owners make now will likely have flow-on effects well beyond the pandemic. So we’ve thrown together a list of ways that you can support your local businesses during this time and beyond.


Order Online or Take a Virtual Experience

We were already living in the age of the internet but the increasing need to stay home has meant more people are online than ever before. Tons of local and small business operators are taking advantage of this by providing their products and services online, and often with free delivery. If you can, order from your local companies and try to avoid the behemoth brands. For example, get pizza tonight from your local spot instead of Pizza Hut (we’re sorry Pizza Hut but we think they’ll understand) or order clothes from that local boutique instead of H&M. Some tour operators are now offering virtual tours, which is a great way to escape the quarantine and see a new place or have a different experience. Of course, it is never going to be the same as the real thing but you’ll be supporting a likely-struggling travel company and trying something new at the same time!


Gift cards & Vouchers

As it looks like we might be inside for a little bit longer, many local businesses, particularly tour and transport operators like ourselves, have lost a significant amount of cash flow. There is a way that we can all help with this by purchasing gift cards and vouchers. This has a variety of benefits. They can be purchased online, from the comfort of your home and they usually last for a year and in some cases, indefinitely! There are even businesses offering percentages of their profits to charities, hospitals, or creatives that are also in need. This is also a great way to support friends and family or as a socially distant gift idea because people are still having birthdays, anniversaries, and other celebrations.


Flatten the Curve

While limiting the spread of Coronavirus is essential for everyone, there is a way that your interaction with local businesses might aid this goal. If you are out and about for whatever reason, try to use your credit or debit card instead of cash. We already know that notes and coins can be filth traps on a normal day and this is a bigger concern during the pandemic. This also reduces the risk for shop attendants and delivery drivers! If you are sick, please stay home and self-isolate. You never know who you might infect, what underlying health issues they have, or if they are caring for someone who is vulnerable and at risk. Everyone needs to do their part!


Reschedule Don’t Cancel

Cancellations have plagued every travel operator and restaurant meaning that money that they had anticipated is no longer there. If you had a booking or plans for an experience then reschedule it instead of canceling. This means that businesses can plan to have some incoming customers once this is all over and it also means that you have something to look forward to!


Show Your Support

We are all struggling through this but if you’re able to make a donation or contribution to a local community group, business, or artist that is struggling, then please do so! If that isn’t possible, there are many other ways that you can show your support. Sharing profiles or reviews on social media are great ways to use your own platform to boost others. Your online community is likely looking for ways to make the best of this situation and offering them the ability to do so is a win for everyone involved.

Making small changes to actions that you’re already making will have a massive impact on local businesses. We are all going through this together and everything we do now will impact how we all bounce back once it is all over. If you’d like to book a tour with us in advance, please get in contact with us and we will be more than happy to arrange something for you. When the airports open back up again, don’t forget to keep us in mind for your shuttle and transport needs. And before they do, why not explore your local city of Atlanta or discover some history about your own backyard. We love having locals on our tours!

– your Roundabout Atlanta team
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