• Sunshine City Kids

How to support local businesses during coronavirus crisis

Social distancing is good for public health, but not for the health of small local businesses.

It's only been a few days since our lives were upended by school closures, a state of emergency, and an apparent toilet paper shortage — but locally owned businesses in St. Petersburg are already seeing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many small businesses have had to close their doors, cancel events, or shorten hours due to increased health and safety protocols related to coronavirus, which means an immediate loss in revenue. And with so many workers telecommuting and families social distancing, lots of other local services and businesses are also feeling the pinch.

But Sunshine City businesses are getting creative to continue to serve the needs of the community in new ways. Read on for some ideas on how you can help support our local and loved entrepreneurs during this time of uncertainty as they put public safety ahead of profit.

Buy Gift Cards

Purchasing a gift card now to your favorite restaurant, shop, hair salon, or spa is an easy way to put cash directly into the business. Many retailers offer online or phone purchasing options. And you get a nice reward when we’re all ready to go out in public again.

Some fun ideas include: The Pinball Arcade Museum, Sip and Dry, and Sweet Stack Shack.

Become a Member

Museums, clubs, activities, yoga studios, and gyms — these are just a few places that offer memberships online. Go ahead and become a member at that gym you’ve been meaning to join since New Year’s. You'll be set to start patronizing in no time.

Memberships are offered at places like: Great Explorations Children’s Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, The Studieaux, and many more.

Order Takeout or Delivery

Most local restaurants and cafes are modifying their procedures to allow for curb-side pickup or delivery. Uber Eats is even waiving delivery fees for independently-owned businesses amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Here are some local restaurants offering curbside pick-up: Il Ritorno, Grand Hacienda, Pete’s General, and lots and lots of others. Little Pond Farm and Kenwood’s Organic Produce will deliver fresh fruits and veggies directly to your door. You can even grab a growler of beer or bottle of wine to-go at any of our local breweries or shops (hey, desperate times).

Shop Online

Many retailers have adjusted their normal operations to offer delivery and pickup options for some great finds. Clothing, records, and books are just a few of the things you can order from a locally-owned business over the phone or online.

Check out these shops offering goods to-go: Tombolo Books, Hello Darlin’ Records, and The Littlest Trunk, among others.

Get an Activity To-Go

Local art studios have some really cool art-to-go kits available to take home to help keep your kiddos entertained during the extended break. Busy kids and small business support sounds like a win-win to us.

Makeme and Practically Pikasso are both offering fun arts-and-crafts to enjoy at home.

Spread the Word

See a local business offering a great deal, performing a good deed, or in need of support? Never underestimate the value of a simple re-share or review on social media. If you can’t support them at the moment, maybe someone else can.

St. Pete, we love you. Keep up with the latest COVID-19 updates at http://www.stpete.org/emergency/covid-19.php.