HOW TO SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES DURING COVID-19
As efforts to “flatten the curve” increase, so does the ongoing impact to our daily lives. From going to the movies to dinner out at our favorite restaurant, many normal activities are now on pause. We’re all impacted by the burdens of COVID-19, but now more than ever do we need to support our local businesses.
Here are six small, but helpful ways you can help keep local businesses afloat during this challenging time:
BUY GIFT CARDS
Many businesses have had to close their doors in an effort to prevent further spread. Now is a great time so support them by purchasing gift cards. Contact your favorite retailers and restaurants to find out how you purchase gift cards from them; or visit the Iowa Love eGift Card Shop and start shopping.
Not only does buying gift cards provide businesses with immediate cash flow, but you can do this while adhering to recommendations for social distancing. Gift cards can be used to make future purchases (once life begins returning to normal) or you might consider donating gift cards to others who may be in need during this difficult time, a WIN-WIN!
Social distancing guidelines have required North Iowa restaurants and breweries to limit operations to takeout or delivery only. As a result, many local eateries have adjusted and are now offering carryout, curbside pick-up, and/or delivery.
To make it easy, we’ve created the “Mason City Takeout Guide” to keep you up-to-date on who’s open when, what they’ve got cookin’, and how you can get it! (P.S. – Don’t forget to tip!)
SHOP ONLINE (or by Phone)
Local retailers have also been impacted by social distancing guidelines. Now’s the time to support local online! Our “Mason City Retail Guide” provides a directory of local businesses offering online sales.
Many businesses will work with you over the phone, through social media, or email if they aren’t currently set up with an online store.
Don’t forget about our local attractions and museums during this difficult time. Consider making a donation or purchasing a membership to show your support.
- Cannonball 457
- Central Gardens of North Iowa
- Charles H. MacNider Art Museum
- Clear Lake Arts Center
- Clear Lake Fire Museum
- Iowa Trolley Park
- Kinney Pioneer Museum
- Lady of the Lake
- Lime Creek Nature Center
- Music Man Square & Meredith Willson Boyhood Home
- River City Sculptures on Parade
- River City Society for Historic Preservation
- Surf Ballroom & Museum
- Wright on the Park
SHARE THE LOVE
We’ve all turned to Google, TripAdvisor, Yelp, and other review sites for recommendations. Share the love for local businesses and attractions by writing a positive review, posting pics, or making recommendations. Follow local businesses on social media and help promote them by sharing their posts and content. There’s no cost to you, but the exposure for the businesses can have incredible impact.
RESCHEDULE (rather than cancel)
It’s important to remember that while we may not know what tomorrow (or next week) will bring, this is a temporary situation. Many activities will need to be put on hold, but we can all help support local business by rescheduling appointments and events rather than canceling.
In addition, remember to follow social distancing guidelines and recommendations for proper hand washing and sanitizing procedures. Limit your non-essential outings and stay home as much as possible. The sooner we stop the spread, the sooner we can resume our normal way of life.