• Elizabeth Listerman

Do Your Part and Support Local

It begins again. But really did it ever stop? With new guidelines put in place by Michigan that began November 18th, we will be experiencing another type of quarantine for the next three weeks. For most, many things are staying open: gyms, hairdressers, retail, elementary schools, professional sports, construction, public transport, and jobs that must be done in person. As for others, dining-in at restaurants are closed so there is only take-out and delivery, high schools are closed as well as theaters, organized sports, in-person learning at universities, casinos, and many fun indoor activities such as bowling and skating. This order will stay in place for three weeks and hopefully will slow the spread that has been spiking here in Michigan. It is the perfect time to do this, right before Christmas, and hopefully, when all is over we will be able to spend the Christmas season with our loved ones.

Due to this order, many restaurants, bars, and coffee shops are going to be struggling. We already saw an abundance of closings and cutbacks during our last full-fledged quarantine, but now we might witness more due to how tough and troublesome this past year has been. With that said it’s important for us to support local. Here in Grand Rapids, we love our range of unique, authentic restaurants, cutesy coffee shops, and fun bars, and it would be tragic to see any of them go. That’s why during these frustrating, struggling times we have to do our part and support local no matter what. Or else, we might be saying goodbye to some of our favorite spots.

Order take-out and delivery

Many restaurants and coffee shops have implemented delivery and take-out services, and if they didn’t before they sure have now. Look on Door Dash, Grub Hub, Uber Eats, and any delivery or pick up service to find your favorite local eateries. Many also include instructions on their websites telling you what services they partner with along with a full menu and any information that you might need with new hours of operation and any holiday specials! You don’t want your favorite date night spot to go out of business or your favorite morning coffee shop to struggle. Therefore, it is important that we support local and try our hardest to keep these local gems intact.

Stray away from corporate

I know we all love Starbucks or Chipotle, they’re fast, easy, and we know what they have, but they have hundreds of thousands all over the US. I think they are doing okay. Hopefully. Try to stray away from buying take-out from corporate businesses unless absolutely necessary. I know many corporate businesses have drive-thrus that make it easy to grab a bite to eat, but many local businesses are offering curbside pick-up which is just as easy. I know it’s hard but don’t pull into that Starbucks drive-thru and instead place an order at Ferris Coffee Co. or Corridor Coffee, they would greatly appreciate it and their coffee is even better!

‘Tis the Season to buy gift cards

We are nearing the holiday season and you know what that means! It’s holiday shopping time baby! Gift cards are the key to anyone’s heart, also money, but try to be unique you know? Be even more unique by buying gift cards from local shops. I would love it if someone bought me a gift card from Hopcat, Donkey Taqueria, Lyon Street Café, Butcher’s Union, or Harmony Brewing. It would be so unique, and I would definitely use it. It would be great for a perfect date night or a night out with the girls. This is a great way to support local but also give an awesome gift.

Show your support on social media

I follow many of my favorite coffee shops and restaurants on Instagram. It lets me know about any hour changes, any closings, and any specials that might be offered. I also love pictures of pretty food and latte art too, so there’s that. What you can do for local businesses is show your support by sharing pictures you take of their food or posts they make by sharing them to your story. This lets people who might not know of the business, see what they offer, and maybe inspire them to go out and buy a bite to eat from them. Networking and word of mouth are key!

I hope these tips inspire you to support local and remember to always mask up!

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