It’s Friday night and the feeling’s right…to give a shout out to local businesses.
Your Friday nights might have been a time where you went to the movies, checked out a new restaurant, or went to a museum opening. Now, your Fridays are looking quite different — sweatpants and a movie on the couch.
But that’s ok. While you might be at home, there are still plenty of ways you can have fun, see some culture, and best of all, support your local community. Read on for five creative ways to support your favorite local businesses.
1. Host a trivia night — with a prize
If you’re missing Trivia Tuesday at your local pub, you’re not alone. The extra order of fries, the multiple rounds of beers, and the friendly competition with the table next to you seems like a (socially distant) memory.
Thankfully, you can still play trivia. And even support your favorite businesses in the process.
Many local trivia hosts are actually putting their questions online for free or for a small fee. Download those questions, jump on the video call platform of your choice, and get quizzing.
One of the best parts about trivia is the competition to win a prize — and that’s where you can support your local businesses. Send gift cards, full meals, or even drinks to the teams with the best team name, the team with the highest score, and if you’re feeling generous, the team with the lowest score.
2. Netflix and order in
Remember themed parties? The ones where you would dress up and get into character? Just because you’re staying home doesn’t mean you can’t still get creative.
Next time you’re watching a movie with friends (well, watching the same movie at the same time from each of your homes), pick a theme from the movie and center your night around that theme. Dress up to get into character and then order delivery or takeout from your favorite restaurant that fits that theme.
3. Share the love
Do you have a neighbor who creates flower bouquets? Frequent a grocery store that donates to food pantries? Belong to a club that is going virtual?
The power of social media is real, and you can use your network to spread the word about your favorite organizations. For example, encourage your network to order flowers from your neighbor who can safely deliver them to someone in need of a pick-me-up. Or send an online donation to the grocery store or food pantry. If your club has gone virtual, ask your network to sign up so you can still enjoy the group together.
4. Cook a meal or drink some wine
Who knew eating and drinking could be so much fun — and still support a cause?
While some of your favorite restaurants are still not accepting patrons, they’re offering “make at home” kits so you can still enjoy your go-to meals at home.
Coordinate with your friends or family to each purchase one of those kits, then hop on a video call while you cook your meals together.
Cooking not really your thing? Other restaurants and bars are offering wine and beer tastings at home. Cheers to supporting local businesses.
5. Start a pen pal chain with a twist
Remember handwritten letters? Those things you had to do before email and texting?
Now is the perfect time to revisit the art of a handwritten letter. Dig up some notecards or even some notebook paper you have around the house, and write a few letters to some friends.
Talk about the weather, your favorite puzzle you put together, or maybe how you rearranged your furniture in your spare time. At the end of your letter, recommend one local business your friend should support and why. Then give your friend these action items:
- Support the local business you recommended
- Send letters to three or more friends
- Include a different business for those friends to support
Create a culture of inspiration
There are countless ways to help your local community — from ordering takeout to donating blood to buying gift cards. Whether you’re working remotely and looking for a way to support your favorite places or you’re trying to figure out ways to stay in business, there is a whole community behind you. Find out how Farmer Copleys pivoted their business to keep serving customers during the pandemic.
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