How Can You Help Local Businesses During Quarantine?

Mar 17, 2020

Credit Downtown Laramie

During the coronavirus pandemic, people are following advice to stay home. Fewer customers means less cash flow for small local businesses. That's especially true when businesses have to close altogether. And that affects the entire community, as employees are left adrift.

"Yeah, there's just a lot of unknown," said Trey Sherwood. She's the executive director of Laramie Main Street, a nonprofit that works with entrepreneurs to revitalize Laramie's historic downtown. "And so planning strategies around unknown is challenging. But we also find that in challenging times comes innovation and creativity, and that's something that small business owners are really good at."

Sherwood said some of the ways businesses are getting creative are curbside pickup and delivery. If they have e-commerce platforms, they're waiving delivery and shipping fees. Some Wyoming yoga studios are even offering subscriptions to stream classes online. Stores and restaurants are offering virtual tours of their space on social media.

And consumers can help their local small businesses, too. Sherwood said one way is gift certificates. "Whether it's for you to use later, or in your Easter basket, or maybe you're stocking up for Christmas," she said. "Or to buy gifts for healthcare providers or first responders. Buying a gift card now knowing you're going to use it later helps with cash flow."

Sherwood also suggested following businesses on social media and leaving Yelp reviews.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Erin Jones, at ejones29@uwyo.edu.