For those of us consuming Coronavirus information updates every 30 seconds, it’s hard to keep up, let alone decipher what it all means. To inspire our readers, Detroitisit is taking an informative stance to help keep you best aware of what’s going on, and what steps can help make the COVID-19 that much smoother for us.
Detroit is proudly chock full of small new businesses. With the current state of the COVID-19 Pandemic, let’s dig deep to find ways to support them now more than ever. Here is a list of some options available to you to back your favorites, and in some cases, help others without too much effort.
1. CURBSIDE PICKUP
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While the city has run into some issues with DDOT (that has since been fixed), they have also been working to set up a Carryout Station plan for the Detroit local restaurants still participating in carryout orders. It must be requested by location. For more information, head over to detroitfoodupdates.com.
2. BUY GIFT CARDS
Most locations around the city have gift cards or gift certificates. Check online on the business’s website to see if you can buy one directly from their site. If it’s a restaurant, call it in like a carry-out if they’re still in operation, no doubt they will be happy to oblige.
3. HELP YOUR FRIENDS STAY INFORMED
Certain trades have had different emergency funding pools open to assist their specific groups. Liquor companies, like Jameson, have donated to the fund in hopes of helping their cocktail slingers all over the U.S. For more information, visit the USBG National Charity Foundation on Facebook.
For the entertainment industry, specifically, those impacted from the postponement of concerts from Live Nation, can connect with other displaced workers and keep tabs on updates by visiting the Live Events Industry Federal Aid Action Group on Facebook.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is opening up programs that are assisting Small Businesses and shared the following information:
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) call center stands ready to support businesses looking for assistance through other available state programs. For more information, visit MEDC’s website: https://www.michiganbusiness.org/covid19/ or call 888.522.0103. The Michigan Small Business Development Center can also provide resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Visit their website https://sbdcmichigan.org/small-business-covid19/ for additional information.
When you see information being shared socially, or you catch it in the news, share it with your friends RIGHT AWAY. At this time it’s really important to share as much helpful information as soon as possible, and you could introduce your friend to the thing they need most just by sharing it, even if it’s not relevant to your interests.
There are a lot of businesses currently in need, most of all, Small Businesses. If you are in a position of being able to help, find the kindness inside yourself and seek out some of those businesses and see if they have an online way to accept a donation. More often than not, they probably will. And on the flip side for small businesses, if you haven’t set up an online way to accept donations, an easy program to use is Ko-Fi, which will let people donate in increments of $3, aka cups of coffee. That way, people of all walks of life and different financial brackets can feel like they’re helping even at the smallest donation.
5. SHARE THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS
You may not be in a position financially to donate or support, but you know what you can do that’s absolutely free? If you see a small biz post, or a biz owner attempting to ask for help or support, share their post! It may seem like a small thing to you, but the more visibility we can get for small businesses at this point, the more we can assist in helping them thrive, which will keep us, aka the city and its inhabitants afloat. You can also share their Facebook Fan Pages, Twitter, Instagram, Twitch, YouTube, ect., or write a review for them on Facebook, Yelp, and Google.
6. IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING
A lot of small businesses have tools and subscriptions they need to keep going. Especially from the creative avenue. One of the things I located was that Adobe Creative Suite will give you 2 months free of their service if you need to cancel your current subscription due to low income. You could save anywhere from $20-$106 by doing this, so I shared it with my photographer and designer friends. While most of the world is concerned with looking out for themselves only, the best thing you can do is share your info with others so more people can take advantage of things they may not have found alone.
7. TIP MORE THAN USUAL
If you are partaking in a tip-accepted service, 9 out of 10 times the worker relies on tips as part of their income. And with less traffic coming to businesses everywhere, it would be appreciated more than you realize if you can include an extra $1 or $2.
8. MAKE AN EFFORT TO SHOP LOCAL AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
Whether we’re in the midst of a pandemic or not, you should consider shopping locally to help keep the local economy thriving. This does not just mean SPECIALTY SHOPS. Convenience stores and market-style businesses need your support and certain spots like Eastern Market are still looking to help the community by staying open as well. So if there’s something you need to pick up from a store, if there’s a local spot that carries it, you can at least give your money to a business that is part of your economic surroundings.
9. BE PATIENT AND BE KIND
If I can stress this point more than the rest, you need to attempt to be kind and patient to employees that are still working despite the crisis. This extends to large corporations with workers like grocery store attendees. They, along with small businesses will be accepting potentially contaminated cash, may be out of items you were hoping to grab, or could be extremely short-staffed causing longer-than-usual wait times. Mind your ego, treat people with respect, and most of all, UNDERSTANDING. We are all in this together. Let’s make it a little simpler by not attacking each other.