Support Local Richmond Businesses During COVID-19
The coronavirus started overseas but its effects have reached Richmond, VA. If you’re a small business owner or just a local to Richmond, knowing what you can do to support your local economy can go a long way.
How COVID-19 Has Affected Richmond, VA
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam responded to the increasing threat of COVID-19 by banning any events with more than 100 people. Meanwhile, the United States government has advised that people avoid groups of ten and practice social distancing. In an effort to abide by these rules, many Richmond restaurants and businesses are reducing their hours and services, while others are opting to shut-down for the foreseeable future.
While everyone is affected by these sudden changes and restrictions, local Richmond businesses are set to be hurt the most. This article details how Mayor Stoney and multiple locally owned restaurants are trying to implement ways to support themselves during this crisis, but some of these businesses still need a source of income for the time being.
It’s hard to not feel helpless in these situations. But there are plenty of ways for everyone to positively impact their communities right now. If you’re looking for a way to support your favorite locally-owned restaurant or shop, we’ve come up with four easy ways to support local Richmond businesses without breaking your self-quarantine.
1. Many Richmond Businesses Offer Online Shopping
Many nationwide chains are moving to online stores during this time, and there are plenty of small businesses around Richmond creating new digital options or focusing on their pre-existing digital options.
Chop Suey Books in Carytown has closed their physical location, but are still offering online orders for short-distance delivery and safe distance pick-ups. You can browse their library of used books through their website and place a delivery order up to 10 miles from their store. They also have a pick-up option where you can grab the order from their store, with their employees taking the necessary precautions before the exchange.
Pleasants Hardware is another Richmond small business with online-shopping and a new curbside pickup option. You can order hardware supplies online directly to your home or call in your order 30 minutes in advance at a location closest to you. When you arrive, they have designated parking where they will bring your hardware supplies to you.
When you think about shopping online, you might think of Amazon or eBay. During the coronavirus, we suggest that you think of your small local Richmond business first. Shopping online through your neighboorhood shops supports local business while you continue to stay at a safe distance.
2. Ordering Local Richmond Food Through Delivery Apps
Since many states are banning large gatherings or recommend that restaurants and bars temporarily stop in-house services, local restaurants in Richmond are now relying on delivery options more than ever.
While some restaurant owners have the means to hire their own delivery drivers, many do not. That’s where independent delivery services like Grubhub, Doordash and Uber Eats come in. They have made it easier for small restaurants to offer delivery options.
El Patron Cantina, located in Chesterfield, offers authentic Mexican food and has become one of the most popular Mexican restaurants in the Richmond area.
For the time being, they are staying open and taking every step to ensure food and customer safety. Luckily, El Patron offers delivery through Doordash and Grubhub. Even better, you can prepay and leave a note on your order for the driver to leave the food on their doorstep. Good food, supporting local restaurants AND supporting local delivery drives while still social distancing– it’s a win-win-win situation.
3. Buying Merchandise and Gift Cards
If you have a favorite restaurant or store, chances are they have some kind of merchandise. This can range from logo t-shirts and hoodies, coffee mugs and glasses, or even quirky stickers. These are the perfect way to not only directly support your favorite Richmond businesses, but also provide some free advertising with a conversation starter.
Gift cards are also an excellent way to support small businesses. They are like a treat for your future-self. It’s ill-advised to go out to eat right now. But once everything has calmed down, your gift card will be waiting for you.
King’s Korner is a popular buffet restaurant in the Chesterfield airpot that we recommend buying gift cards from. They serve high-quality southern cuisine entrees and sides right up the road from us. With or without a coronavirus quarantine, you can buy gift cards for the restaurant that do not expire and have no purchase limit. Your future-self will thank you for the Virginia-style BBQ.
4. Sharing Local Business Posts on Social Media
Take it from a digital marketing company, social media is a vital part of any business’ long-term viability. If you’re strapped for cash during these uncertain times, you can still have a direct impact on local businesses through social media like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It costs you nothing to share their posts but it can mean a lot to them.
Sharing posts from your favorite shop or restaurant is a great way to show your love and appreciation, and those businesses won’t mind the extra traffic. You can also create your own posts talking about your favorite dish or something you recently bought from them. As long as you’re getting the word out, you’re helping them reach more people, which in turn helps them keep their doors open. It costs you nothing to share, like, or tag these businesses, but these methods are worth their weight in gold for a small business trying to share updates to consumers.
Take Titan Auto and Tires in South Chesterfield for example. They’ve been using their social media channels to detail their efforts to sanitize and help reduce the spread of the virus. They even share some ways to reduce contact during business hours, like a key drop box and paying through text message.
These posts are perfect to share with your friends. They not only promote businesses that are stepping up their quarantine efforts, but also keeps Richmond locals updated on who is and isn’t open right now.
Now It’s Your Turn to Make a Positive Impact
Richmond business owners need as much help as they can get, especially right now when people are encouraged to stay at home for weeks on end. Whenever you need to go shopping in the next few weeks, think local first. Try to order from these businesses through delivery or online, directly support them by buying merchandise and gift cards, or show your support through Facebook or Instagram.
Above all else, keep yourself, your family and your friends safe through effective social distancing, doctor’s visits, and regular hand washing. While you’re staying at home, keep up to date with the ever changing COVID-19 virus situation with these resources.
Here are some links to stay up-to-date with the ever-evolving coronavirus situation:
- World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 Q&A (https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses)
- Center for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 Resources Page (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html)
- Virginia Department of Health Situation Summary (http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/surveillance-and-investigation/novel-coronavirus/)
- If you want to help Richmond restaurant workers, donate to this GoFundMe (https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-richmond-restaurant-workers)
- This article includes an updating list of restaurants open for business, along with resources for those looking to support fundraisers for employees (https://www.richmond.com/food-drink/restaurant-news/richmond-restaurants-that-are-open-for-takeout-curbside-delivery-or/article_0b10c6e7-4bd6-5f69-9b4a-4fcb636922a0.html)
- This article details the changes Governor Northam has implemented in response to COVID-19 (https://www.virginiamercury.com/2020/03/15/virginia-officials-encourage-social-distancing-stop-short-at-widespread-closures-or-quarantine/)
- Small businesses can now more easily apply for a disaster relief loan from the Small Business Administration, more details can be found here: https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/sba-newsroom/press-releases-media-advisories/sba-updates-criteria-states-requesting-disaster-assistance-loans-small-businesses-impacted