How to support local makers during the COVID-19 outbreak

COVID-19, entrepreneur, Ottawa business, shop local, small business, support local -

How to support local makers during the COVID-19 outbreak

We can probably all agree that it’s a strange time right now. 

At Makerspace North, we’re doing what we can to keep our community safe and healthy. Many of our tenants have shifted to working from home. All tours, drop-ins, events, meetups & workshops have been postponed. And, our ChitChats drop-spot is suspended until further notice.

As you know, many non-essential businesses and services are shutting down across Ottawa as health officials urge self-isolation and social distancing (two of our new favourite buzzwords). 

This means that now, more than ever, your small local businesses need your support to help them through the difficult days ahead. 

Beyond trying to keep afloat (which is major enough!), business owners must think about the safety and financial well-being of their employees, and how they can continue serving their customers (in many cases while their brick-and-mortar establishments are shut and/or they’re homeschooling kids).

If you have the financial means to do so, here are a few ways you can support Ottawa businesses:

  • Buy gift cards for future use, place preorders, and book ahead
  • Donate to creatives, directly or via methods like Patreon or Buy Me a Coffee
  • Order online or select on-site pickup from small establishments that are closed to street traffic
  • Maintain gym memberships and subscriptions, even if service is paused
  • Shop ahead for birthday gifts (or even Christmas!)
  • Refrain from requesting a refund when a grassroots event is cancelled or postponed
  • Order take-out and food delivery from independent restaurants (ideally ordering direct, rather than from third-party food delivery services—although some are waiving delivery fees which we commend! 👏)
  • Buy local produce to support Ontario farmers wherever possible from greengrocers, instead of large chains
  • Tip a little extra for service workers

And, here are some other ways to support Ottawa businesses that won’t cost you a cent:

  • Be kind and patient—remember we are in unprecedented times
  • Call or email business owners to see how you can best support them
  • Leave them an awesome review on Etsy, Google Reviews, Facebook or Yelp, sharing your positive experiences
  • Show your support on social media via engagement (follow, comment, like, share, @mention, and use their hashtags)
  • Check out their website and sign up for their email lists
  • Help maintain supplies by refraining from panic buying
  • Wash your hands and stay home if you’re sick to help keep workers and their other customers safe

Together, let’s signal to business owners that brighter days are around the corner.