7 Ways To Support Princeton-Hamilton Businesses During the Shutdown

Local businesses have been closed...which means now is the most important time to support them

By Angela Earley, Publisher March 28, 2020

The order to close businesses in NJ has left many of us asking how we can best support small businesses during this crisis. If you can financially do so, please consider going out of your way to support locally-owned Princeton-Hamilton area businesses and organizations right now. Here are seven ideas on how to do that:

1. Order takeout

Bars and restaurants have been ordered closed, but many are finding ways to offer takeout. Some are even offering delivery services for the first time. Call your favorite local restaurants or visit their Facebook pages to find out what alternatives they're offering customers. 

2. Change your habits

You might only grocery shop at Wegmans or Wal-Mart typically. But those large businesses have more resources to help employees and stay in business throughout this crisis. Instead, think about stopping at places like locally-owned like a farmers market or seafood market.

3. Plan ahead

Have a birthday party to plan for later this year? Reserve a location or entertainer now. That support -- and a down payment! -- will give small business owners a boost during a scary time for them. 

4. Make summer camp plans

It might be hard to picture right now, given the situation, but summer is just a few months away. Now is the time to plan for summer for your kids. Then reserve those spots for camps now. Businesses and organizations will appreciate that support! 

5. Buy gift certificates

Almost any business will allow you to buy a gift certificate for later use. Most have online options. That will give them the cash they can use now to pay bills and employees, and you can look forward to spending it when restrictions have lifted. Gift certificates aren't just for restaurants -- think about businesses ranging from 

6. Don't ask for your money back

Extracurriculars canceled? Gyms closed? Daycare shuttered? Consider asking for makeup classes or time rather than asking for your money back. They need every penny you can afford to offer right now to stay solvent and pay employees.

7. Donate to a family in need or local food bank. 

While many secondhand stores are not accepting donations or consignment currently because of the coronavirus, places like our local food banks are helping families suffering financially during this crisis -- like laid off restaurant workers, retail employees, and others. You can make cash donations online. 

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