How you can support local businesses despite COVID-19

Local leaders offer tips to help local businesses survive during trying times

How you can support local businesses despite COVID-19

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - It comes sadly as no surprise that local businesses are struggling to get by right now.

Many relying heavily on foot traffic now forced to switch their approach.

“This is the time of year that tourism is generally at its peak,” said Visit Savannah President Joe Marinelli.

But with the outbreak of COVID-19, that’s not the case this year in Savannah.

Empty streets, leading to empty businesses, and for many empty wallets. Which could spell disaster for some of your favorite local spots, if you don’t do your part.

“Be supportive as possible. The jobs out there are those of our friends and our neighbors,” said Marinelli.

Many restaurants have already switched to offering to-go or delivery options, a list Visit Savannah is continually updating here.

Another way to support them and save a little down the road, buy a gift card.

“It’s a great way to save a little money on future spending as well, but, it’s also a nice way that together we can actually contribute quite a bit back into the economy,” said Michael Owens of the Tourism Leadership Council.

When it comes to helping out local retail, the easiest solution, find their website and do some online shopping.

And no matter how you’re helping, for once, Owens says it’s okay to brag about it.

“You know, use the power of social media let everyone know you’ve done it, ask them to share it. If you found a great deal post it on Facebook and other social media channels," he said.

But one of the greatest ways you can support local business may happen once the pandemic is finally over.

“When we start to see some flicker of recovery and more businesses start to open, lets start with being a tourist in our own hometown,” said Marinelli.

And eventually our hometown will feel like home again.

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