The lockdown has been a boom period for some international businesses, particularly media and online gaming, where the online casino pa is enabling players to partake in a range of jackpot slots and video poker.

Unfortunately, many local businesses that were forced to shut down following the outbreak of the coronavirus in March have struggled to keep afloat due to a steep drop off in custom. Many have admitted that cash flow simply “evaporated overnight.”

More than 310 million people in 42 US states have been urged to stay at home during the lockdown. That has had a drastic knock-on effect on enterprises that rely on the footfall from local communities to support day to day operations.

With social distancing guidelines finally starting to ease and US President Donald Trump eager to reopen states across the country, local businesses will have an important role to play in helping the economy to recover during the remainder of 2020.

You can play your part by supporting local businesses during this challenging period.

Optimize your weekly shop

You might usually venture to a franchise store or mall to complete your weekly shop, but you can help local businesses by looking at substituting in products from smaller outlets where possible. Bigger stores like Walmart are not going to struggle post-lockdown as they are a multinational corporation with considerable revenue. At the same time, your local grocer will find it difficult to make ends meet.

You can extend the weekly shop concept to all of your purchases, if possible, especially electricals, books, and anything that can be sourced from local businesses. Giving most of your money to local enterprises after the lockdown will give them a better chance of surviving, which will also ensure there are local jobs and a thriving local economy.

Get a takeout

Local restaurants and cafes will have some form of social distancing measures in place when things start getting back to some sort of normality, but don’t let that stop you from getting takeout or stopping by to purchase a few goods on your way home from work.

Tip more than usual

Tipping is a part of everyday life in the US, but you could try to tip a little more than usual to show your support after the lockdown. The standard 20-25% tip for exceptional service will help a lot of local enterprises and the people they employ. Many workers will be on low wages and unpredictable hours and will have a struggle to hold on to their livelihoods. Cash payments are unlikely to be accepted straight after the lockdown, so try to tip using debit cards or online.

Buy gift cards

Purchasing a gift card is a great way to front up cash for local businesses and show them that you appreciate what they do and that you will continue to be a loyal customer in the future. You could also send gift cards to family members to celebrate a birthday or special occasion.

Show support in different ways

Spending money on local goods and services is the best way to show support for businesses, but you can also help by spreading positive word of mouth feedback to friends and family. Local business owners are also very likely to be stressed about financial commitments. Taking the time out of your day to send them an email or note showing your support can boost their morale.

Shout out on socials

Social media is another excellent tool for sharing the benefits of shopping locally to friends and followers. If you have ordered something that you like or if a local business is offering new services post lockdown, give them a shout out on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Posts also have a chance of going viral, which can help a business by giving it free advertising promotion during a difficult period.

Submit favorable reviews

Local businesses rely on search engines to offer relevant information to customers. You can enhance their brand and show your appreciation of their services by submitting user-generated content on Google. Just a simple, positive, five-star review can do wonders for a business as it will make it easier for them to attract new customers who look at feedback and reviews when deciding to purchase from a particular outlet.

Avoid refunds or postpone

Full refunds are part of your consumer rights, but if your product is not faulty, you could instead opt for a voucher that can be used at a later date. If you have a booking with a local florist or caterer for an event in the summer, consider waiting it out for now and postponing rather than canceling it entirely.

The post-lockdown period will be tough for everyone, but by showing support for a business, you can help them and the workers they employ to remain a part of the local community.