Supporting Local Businesses During COVID-19

Following the recommendations of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Maine CDC, and Governor Mills' administration, many Mainers are practicing social distancing to reduce their exposure to, and the spread of, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

As social distancing changes our consumption habits and alters our normal routines, businesses are also adapting. Below are eight ways you can support your local businesses while practicing social distancing, as well as twelve resources for business owners to help guide your responses to COVID-19.

Please note that in this rapidly-evolving situation, these resources may require updates; while CMGC strives to make timely updates, we strongly encourage you to review local, state, and federal policies and procedures before implementing these resources.

Eight Ways to Support Local Business while Practicing Social Distancing:

  1. Buy gift certificates.This helps shops and restaurants with cash flow during lean times, and you'll have a treat to look forward to after the need for social distancing subsides.
  2. Order to-go.Many restaurants that do not advertise take-out and delivery are happy to package your order to-go for your pick-up. Even as municipalities order the closure of restaurants and bars, these establishments may be open for take-out and delivery, with only the dine-in option unavailable.
  3. Shop remotely.Enlist the help of local shop owners to find the perfect gift. You can pay over the phone or online, and either pick up the item(s) or have them shipped.
  4. Join local subscription clubs.Many local specialty grocers, salons, independent bookstores, and other small businesses offer "of the month" clubs and subscription boxes. This is a great opportunity to try new products and receive a surprise in the mail, which is especially welcome while staying at home.
  5. "Window shop" on social media.Local businesses are increasing the inventory they are showcasing on Facebook and Instagram - check out your local shops' social media accounts to window shop online.
  6. Donate to your favorite non-profits.If social distancing has generated extra savings, consider donating to your favorite non-profits. Many non-profits have had to cancel fundraising events or close, which eliminates attendance fee revenues.
  7. Stock up on local produce.While grocery shopping, look for produce, breads, vitamins, soaps, and other goods from local farmers. You can try freezing or canning to extend the life of perishable produce.
  8. Remember that local establishments prioritize your health and safety.Check their websites and social media accounts to review the extra precautions local businesses are taking to keep consumers safe.

Twelve Business Resources for COVID-19 Response:

Planning and Preparation
    1. OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
    2. U.S. Chamber Advice on Planning your Response to COVID-19
    3. U.S. CDC Business web page
    4. Prevention + monitoring tips (English + Spanish)
    5. Resources for Manufacturers
Employee Education and Protection
    1. Maine Dept. of Labor and Guidance re: COVID-19
    2. The difference between cleaning and sanitizing
    3. Handwashing 101
    4. Handwashing in the food industry (English + Spanish)
    5. How employees should prepare before arriving to work
Applying for Disaster Assistance
    1. SBA Disaster Assistance for COVID-19
    2. News Release: Maine Businesses Eligible for SBA Disaster Assistance

For More Information on COVID-19

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