The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) social distancing guidance - meant to limit the size of crowds - will help prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), but it also means many small businesses across the country are facing some difficult financial times.
The Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) College of Business Administration has shared some tips for Nebraskans that can help small businesses afloat while looking after their own health.
Order for Delivery or Carry Out
While gatherings of 10 people or more are prohibited, you can still get food from your favorite restaurants by ordering takeout, curbside pick-up or delivery, while choosing cooked foods over fresh foods when possible.
Similarly, you can call in your orders to small local retailers and pick them up. Remember to practice social distancing when receiving your order. As much as possible, avoid paying with cash. Paying over the phone (or using a credit card that can easily be wiped) will help limit the risk of exposure.
Buy Gift Cards or Prepay for Services
Support your favorite small businesses by purchasing gift cards to be used at a later date. This provides the business with money that they can use to weather the storm. When things settle down later, you will be able to use your gift cards. Similarly, you can call your personal service providers to book and prepay for future sessions.
Maintain Memberships and Subscriptions
Many small businesses rely on constant support to keep their doors open. If you have a membership to a local gym, painting class, music lesson, dance studio, etc., don't stop making payments. You can also see if these businesses offer virtual classes or lessons. If not, request this service. Not only will you keep up with your fitness or artistic goals, but you can do it from the comfort of your home.
Shop from Local Businesses Online
If a small business you frequent has an online store, continue to buy their products during these hard times. Again, many businesses are moving to curbside pick-up and delivery to keep revenue coming in. Yes, you could order almost anything from an online retail giant like Amazon, but your local retail businesses need your support now more than ever.
Overall, please be mindful of the struggles of small businesses during these times and be intentional about supporting them through your patronage.
Should you need assistance as a small business, NBDC business consultants are available for confidential, one-on-one consulting sessions via email, phone, and video-conferencing. You can visit their staff directory page to find a consultant or call 402.554.NBDC (6232) and leave a message.
Contact – Nebraska Business Development Center firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.