We're all distancing and keeping to ourselves as much as possible -- at least we all should be social distancing through the pandemic. But for many business owners, this is a scary thought. Yeah there's a virus out there … but foot traffic is their way of life. It's their entire income. For small business owners, losses will hit harder than for big corporations.

That means, if you have the ability, it's a great time to give back and support small businesses whenever possible.



1. Food to go

When you've got that craving for something good, pounce on the urge to eat out! Curbside pickups and drive-thrus help keep locally-owned restaurants afloat. Just be sure to stay as distant as possible and to pack on the hand sanitizer. Your contribution helps build their income … and it gets you some yummy food!

Stop on post to help out local entities who lend their services to on-base residents, or head into town for a meal at a local spot.

2. Products

Need new clothes? Shoes? Starter plants for the garden? Continue to shop as normal … but online. Utilize local websites or Facebook groups to see what local shops are offering and order your goods. Many stores are providing free delivery so you don't have to worry about unnecessary contact.

3. COVID-19 package deals

More businesses still have gotten creative with how they reach customers. For instance, artists are creating take-home kits, tutors or instructors are selling fun lesson kits and more. Everyone who normally works one-on-one or through a studio is likely hurting with their income. Consider keeping your family busy with their timely goods.

4. Sharing online

You don't have to spend money to lend your support. Share social media posts, leave comments, like posts and give positive reviews. All of this interaction helps brands be seen easier online by others. Your feedback helps! Don't overlook seemingly simple quips on social media -- each one could potentially reach a new customer.

What are your favorite ways to give back to local businesses in a time of need?