To the Editor:

If you are like me and watching community responses to the spread of COVID-19, you may share the same concerns about the impact of social distancing on locally owned small businesses. It’s clear that my friends who are owners or employees of them are increasingly worried. Here are some simple ideas that many of us can use to help: 

1. If you usually frequent a business, see how many times over the next few weeks you’ll miss their friendly faces. Buy a gift card that covers your usual patronage. Then either spread out the use of those gift cards over time while you continue to support them as normal or give them away as gifts to people who might not normally go there.

2. If you have a subscription or membership to a gym, exercise class, painting class, music lessons, dance academy, etc., keep it going. Many of those folks rely on that support to keep their doors open and pay their bills. It’s only a few weeks and your continued support can literally save their business.

3. If you planned on buying a manufactured product like say a guitar, piece of clothing, whatever, give that business a call. Pay for it and have them set it aside for you to pick up later.

4. If you know the owners or employees personally, drop them a line and ask how you can help. They might have ideas for you to help that are specific to their business.

Family-owned and small businesses are part of the unique fabric of our community. Please join me in continuing to support them over the next several weeks even if not in-person!

Sean Parsons

Athens

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