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7 Ways to Help For 7 Days

Published: March 16, 2020


The vitality and creativity of small businesses in the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region helps make us a unique and beloved destination. From performing arts venues to markets, from boutique lodging to farm-to-table dining, our communities are built on local innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity. Just think of the Saturday Market, 5th Street Public Market, Northwest Hat Company, America's Hub World Tours, the Children's Adventure Museum, Creswell Bakery, the Jazz Station, Ballet Fantasque and Radio Redux. There are too many wonderful stores, venues, artists, inventors, chefs and more to list.

How can we all help small businesses during a time when we must practice social distancing? Here are seven things you can do that can help. 

1. Order Take-Out

Many restaurants are still preparing food to go. Simply view your favorite restaurant's menu online, or call them for options, and order a take out dinner! Pay over the phone or online, then just show up to pick up. Or inquire if they are participating with a delivery service.

2. Buy a Gift Certificate

Even if you can't go out to eat this week, or to a show, or even shopping — you know you will want to in the future. So purchase a gift certificate now as an investment in future enjoyment and an immediate boost to your favorite small business. Even without patronage, they still have overhead including storefronts, supplies and staffing. A little cash now can help them defray deficits over time.

3. Donate your ticket refund

The show didn't go on. Your tickets were refunded. Consider turning that refund right back around and donating it to the arts, sports or activities group that is taking the loss. Let's keep all these amazing organizations operating in the region.

4. Stream Music

Musicians depend on shows to make most of their money. Find your favorite local artist on a streaming platform to show your support, buy their album or order some merch! Check out our playlist of Eugene's beloved artists on Spotify to get started. 

5. Share online

Love a local retailer, a restaurant, activities guide, arts group or program? From merchandise to talent, from non-profit groups to small businesses, keep sharing the love socially. Even if they aren't operating this week, tell people about how great they are so that when things can move forward, they have ready and eager customers.

6. Coordinate a delivery through a local shop

Tempted to buy something on Amazon? Why not call your local shop and order it through them? Just like a take-out order from a restaurant, pay over the phone and then have it shipped direct to you, or arrange for a quick pick up at the storefront. 

7. Book Your Next Trip

Plan ahead. After all, you'll be ready for a vacation! Book advance lodging and activities reservations. This will help keep spirits up — yours, because you'll get to look forward to a great trip, and the hotel or B&B owners because they need the future bookings help compensate for right now.

During this challenging time, please remember to be courteous. If you have to cancel, call the business promptly so they don't invest in supplies and staffing that can't be returned after you "no show". And if you are healthy, and abiding by the current gathering and operational guidelines, and feel comfortable doing so — hire the private tour guide or take the private class. Many instructors, guides and service providers are adhering to robust sanitation between appointments, practicing social distancing and offering programs online. There may be a creative option available. Thanks for finding safe ways to support small business while practicing social distancing.

Author: Taj Barnhart Morgan

Taj Barnhart Morgan is the Director of Content Strategy for Travel Lane County. A journalism graduate from the University of Oregon, Taj has two decades of special event management and hospitality marketing experience in San Diego, CA and Maui, HI. Passionate about mothering, and back to her Oregon roots, she is discovering the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region all over again through the eyes of her daughter.