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As we work to keep distance and spend more time at home, small and local businesses are certain to be negatively effected. 

Without the patronage of the community, sales will be lower for many restaurants, book stores, bars, retail stores, gyms & studios and other service providers — for some, the pandemic could mean permanent closure. 

The National Federation of Independent Business reported around 44% of small business owners to be somewhat or very concerned about the negative impacts COVID-19 may have on them. 

So how can we support local and small businesses while practicing social distancing? 

1. Order take out or have food delivered. 
Although Governor DeWine has mandated the closure of all bars and restaurants, take out and delivery is permitted. 
Instead of regularly visiting your large, nearby grocery chain for the essentials, have dinner delivered to your home — or pick up take out (it’ll be a nice little trip out of the house, too). 
Many meals can be frozen and warmed later. 

2. Buy a gift card and save it for a later date.
You might not want, or have the option to go to a yoga class, the salon or your neighborhood boutique. 
But, you can support small businesses now by purchasing a gift card to use another day. 
You’ll not only be helping business owners in your community, but doing something kind for yourself as well.

3. Order online.
One-third of all American small business plan to begin, or have began, providing their products online this year. 
If businesses in your area participate in e-commerce, now is the perfect time to have something to delivered to your home. 
Again, this can’t entirely be considered an act of philanthropy — who doesn’t love receiving something in the mail? 

It’s important to shop local, now more than ever. 

What did we forget? How are you supporting a small or local business during the pandemic? 

Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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