As the current coronavirus crisis takes a grip on many businesses and restaurants, owners are finding themselves anxious about both the short-term and long-term impacts this will have on their businesses. With restrictions put in place to help avoid the spread of the virus, small businesses are experiencing many changes to their business models, including a decrease in customers and their cash flow. As essential as small business is to the American economy, it’s essential that consumers do what they can to help assist them during this challenging time.

Below are a few examples of how you can help support your local small businesses during COVID-19.

1. Carry Out or Delivery
Your favorite, local restaurant may have had to close its doors to dine-in customers, but there’s a chance they’re still available for carryout or delivery. While the dining area might be closed, carrying out and delivery still provides income to help keep the business thriving during this economic hardship.

To help keep both you and the restaurant employee safer, try using Mobile Wallet for a contactless payment option.

2. Gift Cards or eGift Cards
Gift cards are an ideal way to put money into a business quickly. Purchase a gift card now to use at a later date or to pre-purchase as some gifts for an upcoming birthday or anniversary. The value of the gift card doesn’t decrease over time and the expiration date, if there even is one, is usually a generous one.

Depending on the restaurant, some owners will typically allow you to purchase a gift card over the phone using your First Bank Debit Mastercard® and mail it to you, while others may allow you to pay ahead with your debit or credit card and pick it up. As an alternative, some even offer online eGift card ordering that can be delivered right to your email or cell phone. However you choose to order a gift card, know that the money will be extremely useful right now for your local business owner.

3. Shop Online
Keep in mind, supporting your local businesses doesn’t always have to happen in person. Check if the business has a website, and if it does, consider buying their products online or ordering delivery.

A how to guide supporting local business

This helps put funds back into the business even if the physical store or location is closed. With this, they’re able to continue employing staff, including delivery drivers.

Use our secure debit or credit cards for easy online payments.

4. Get your Groceries Local
Is there a local grocery store or supermarket in town? Consider picking up your groceries and household goods from one of these stores instead of larger, chain grocers. Well-known, chain grocery stores won’t be impacted as much as your local supermarket by weeks of reduced cash flow.

5. Tip a Little More
Not only are businesses being affected, but so are the employees who work there. For example, a decrease in restaurant hours or closed doors not only hurts the business’s cash flow, but it also affects employee wages. If you are considering ordering delivery, consider tipping a little more. While this won’t help a restaurant’s bottom line, it’ll help spread a little positivity during a trying time.

Helping a small business during a crisis like this can help keep the business afloat now and well after the crisis is resolved. If you’re a small business owner, consider using our business eBanking mobile app, and for consumers, consider using our consumer eBanking mobile app to keep up with your finances and banking activity. As always, First Bank is committed and ready to help you with your financial needs now and well into the future.


Boston magazine, Inc.com, St. Louis Magazine