Due to the situation in the world with the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing and self isolation is an important thing to do at the moment. Many are being asked to work from home, stay home whenever possible, and help flatten the curve and minimize the risk of the virus spreading to those most vulnerable in our community. However, there are those in our community whose livelihood depends on sales and community interaction. In this difficult time, how can you help support small, local businesses and keep them afloat when you're staying home?

Laramie Farmers Market posted a comprehensive list of five easy ways that you can help local businesses while still putting the community's health as a number one priority.

"As Wyoming responds with precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many local businesses are fearful of the negative economic impact that comes with social distancing. While we are all in this together and recognize that public health is a top priority for all, our small businesses rely heavily on social togetherness and foot traffic to sustain operations and wages.
There is hope, though, and we can still be an incredibly supportive community that keeps our small, locally owned businesses open.
Check out our small (but mighty!) checklist 5 ways you can support local from the comfort of your home."
                                                        -Laramie Farmers Market Facebook
1. Buy a Gift Card:
 One way to help locally owned shops and restaurants is to purchase a gift card during the social isolation stage of the COVID-19 response to help keep their revenue flowing, then you can go out to eat or shopping later when the virus has been contained!
2. Shop Online or Over the Phone: 
With the advent of modern technology, shopping in person isn't necessary in most cases. You can call in delivery or pick-up orders from most restaurants in town, and even stores in town will usually help with ecommerce sites of phone calls looking for specific items. There's even been talk of virtual tours for some boutique stores downtown to help keep window shopping, even with virtual windows.
3. Leave a Review: 
Even if you can't spend money right away, there's no reason not to help your favorite business with a review to make sure others know how stoked you are to have great small businesses in our town.
4. Promote Social Media: 
Likes, shares, comments, tweets, etc: increased their social media engagement so that more people see their events, menus, or special sales!
5. Subscribe:
Most local businesses have newsletters and other places to subscribe (youtube, following on instagram, etc) where you can get the most up-to-date info from your favorite businesses. Heck, even your favorite radio station has a daily e-newsletter if you're so inclined.
So while social distancing is an important step in weathering this storm together, let's make sure that those of us in the community that are worried about the economic impact know that we have their back. We love our local businesses.

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