Above: Image from Unsplash
With the recent “shelter in place” order in the San Francisco Bay Area, many local small businesses deemed “non-essential” have taken a huge hit. And even outside of SF, many independent shops have temporarily closed and sent employees home to practice #socialdistancing and hopefully stay healthy. While we can’t save these businesses single-handedly, here are a few things we’ve done to help support where we can.
Restaurants & Groceries
- Many local farms rely on farmers markets, schools and restaurants for business – and now almost all of these are closed. Some farms offer CSA boxes (groceries delivered weekly), and others are part of larger delivery services like Imperfect Foods. We subscribe to the latter, and plan to keep our subscription active to support their local sources.
- Ordering takeout / pickup (as available) from restaurants. If you’re located in a metro area, check out this helpful site: https://www.diningatadistance.com/ More cities and restaurants are added continuously.
- For those that do have to close completely, we’ve thought about buying gift cards to help with cash flow during this period at the very least
If you have the means (understand that this is a financially uncertain time for many), here are a few ways to support small retailers / brands:
Good ol’ online shopping
- Slow fashion retailers Only Child (reviewed here) & Elizabeth Suzann (reviewed here) are still taking orders
- Some (but not all) retailers may have delayed fulfillment, understandably
- ES is also hosting a sale (10 – 20% off their entire), which they almost never do. More on that in a very honest post here on their Instagram page
- Same with LYS (local yarn shops) and craft stores. Oakland-based A Verb for Keeping Warm is still accepting online orders, along with Black Squirrel Berkeley and Imagiknit in SF
- Many indie yarn dyers were relying on upcoming conventions / festivals to sell goods in person. With the cancellation of these events, most of them have placed this inventory online for sale instead – here is a list of shops from the recently cancelled VKL Seattle
For yourself or for a loved one! This is a good option if you’re not comfortable with a full purchase, but you know you’ll shop at a later date. Many stores offer gift cards starting at $25.
Same goes for local events & workshops. I’m a big fan of Workshop SF and plan to take another class there in the future. I’ll be buying a $50 gift certificate to use later for one of their sewing alterations class.
Hope you are staying safe & healthy. If you have any additional ideas around supporting local & small businesses during this time, would love to hear them.