We rise by lifting others.

-Robert Ingersoll

Whilst many of us, be it individually or as a business, are in survival mode, there are still absolutely things everyone can do to help others as we are all in this Coronavirus pandemic crisis together, and we’ll all get through it together.  Let’s all do our bit to make sure it brings out the best in us.

What a great time to get creative about helping others in your community.  Being financially crippled, and being isolated at home, don’t need to prevent this.

There’s been a lot of commentary about now being the time to support local small businesses.  I absolutely endorse this, small businesses are the heartbeat of our community.  And many are doing it tough right now.  But this support doesn’t necessarily have to be financially.  Here are some ideas for how, perhaps while looking for something to do while isolated at home, you can help local businesses.  Some require spending, some don’t.  Whatever you do to help someone else, I guarantee you’ll feel better for it.


  • Write some favourable five-star online reviews: This is a good time to finally get around to reviewing your favourite local businesses, on google, facebook, tripadvisor, and the like. These five-star reviews do help companies rank well in search engines and on other listing services. This is an easy, free way to show your favourite small businesses that you support them.


  • Like and share on social media: Help your favourite businesses reach a broader audience by liking and sharing their information on social media. This will help them reach future customers and gain more exposure.


  • Tell business owners and employees that you appreciate their work: These are tough times! Keep morale up by reaching out to the businesses in your community and letting them know that you appreciate their hard work.


  • If you can afford the treat, get take-out or delivery: Many restaurants and breweries are now offering takeout even as they close their dining rooms. Support these local institutions by getting your food or drinks to-go and enjoying it at home.


  • Look for virtual classes: People who work in training or professional development – this can be anyone from your personal trainer to the person teaching your office’s public speaking workshop — are finding creative ways to move their instruction online. Even though your local gym is closed, your favorite yoga teacher may be hosting a live class online. Same goes for people who offer professional trainings. Now may be a good time to brush up on your skills through an online course.


  • Shop (local) online: Local shops and vendors may have closed their (physical) doors, but many still run online shops. Look for them on social media or check the business’s website for links to their online marketplace.


  • Commit to future work: While right now may not be the best time to start that home renovation project, your contractor will appreciate you committing to future projects when the business opens back up. The same goes for any future event or project.


  • If you can get by without it, skip the refund and take a rain check: If you paid in advance for an event, such as theatre or concert tickets, a class, or a service, consider taking a credit for the future instead of asking for a refund. These businesses will appreciate not needing to issue so many refunds right now.


  • Buy a gift card for later: Many small businesses that have had to close are offering gift certificates at discounted rates for when they open back up. Look on business’s websites and social accounts.


  • Ring someone and check on how they’re going.  Listen.  Let them know, “We’ve got this.”