The situation with COVID-19 is scary.  This is uncharted territory for all of us, including our local business owning friends who are directly impacted by the loss in sales during this time.  Here's five ways you can support local businesses while still social distancing to keep yourself, and others safe.

1) Order gift cards from your favorite local places

Let's be honest, when this is all said and done, we're all going to need a night out to relax.  You can help local businesses out now, by purchasing a gift card now so they can have your money, and then treat yourself at a later date with that gift card. This will help out local restaurants, bars, and shops.

2) Buy local- online

Many local establishments have websites where you can order items from them and have them shipped to you.  It's a great way to treat yourself while still supporting local.  You can also go to websites like Etsy.com and search for your town, for instance I searched for "Evansville Indiana" and a bunch of local vendors popped up.  That's a great way to support local artisans, and businesses.

3) Order takeout 

While the restaurants and bars are currently not open to in-person guests, you can still order takeout.  Treat yourself to your favorite meal from a local restuarant and pick it up.  if you aren't comfortable picking it up, order through UberEats, Waitr, Grubhub and they will deliver it to your home.

4) Follow your favorite businesses on social media

This one may not seem like much, but social media is SO important to local businesses these days.  One great and easy way to help them is by following your favorite local places, and like, comment, and share their posts.  Getting their social media engagement up helps their posts get shown to more people which when you're sharing your business on social media, exposure is never a bad thing.

5) Tip more than usual

Many people don't tip as much for carryout service as they do for in-person service, but please consider tipping a little extra. Many members of the service industry rely on tips for their income, and with restaurants and bars mandated to close to in-person patrons, many are losing out on income they rely on.  So if you decide to order carry out, consider leaving a little extra for those working hard.

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