“Strange days, indeed,” the late John Lennon once opined. Most of the world can likely concur, as the fallout from the novel Coronavirus threatens to reorient our daily lives for the foreseeable future.
Uncertain times, to be sure. Look, we make a print magazine here. A free one, it should be noted. And it’s free because of all the businesses, small and large–but mostly small–that advertise between the front and back cover of each issue. And while we’re confident that Void Mag will weather whatever economic storm is brewing, it looks like this new-normal, however temporary, is going to be a tough stretch for local businesses.
Of course, your first order of business should be to take care of yourself to ensure the safety of those around you. For an easy (and fun) reminder of what exactly that looks like in the face of Coronavirus, let’s turn to, who else, but the Wu-Tang Clan:
So, second order of business: during the uncertain days (and weeks) ahead, it’s going to be more important than ever to support local businesses. Here are a few ways you can ensure we all weather this thing together.
Gift Certificates: As far as we know, birthdays/anniversaries/bat mitzvahs/quinceaneras will not be cancelled. Consider getting ahead of the game and purchasing gift certificates to your favorite shops, restaurants or businesses, especially those that rely heavily on foot traffic. While most boutiques and small retail operations haven’t yet shuttered, they very well may soon do so. And most museums and other important cultural institutions have closed indefinitely. Now’s a good time to buy a gift certificate to you fave small business, or an annual membership to MOCA or the Cummer Museum and Gardens.
Order Takeout: Many local restaurants are reorganizing their business model to ensure the safety of their customers by focussing on to-go orders. Many independently owned restaurants and food businesses that haven’t previously done so are now getting on to delivery platforms like Uber Eats. NOTE: How you pay may be a concern. If you’re sick or in a self-quarantine or if you’re elderly and at risk, you might use your credit card to pay over the phone, including the tip for the delivery person, and ask them to leave the bag of food outside your door.
-Not sure what to order, here’s a list of the best things we’ve ever eaten (recently) from our Bold Bites Issue.
Tip More than Usual: Consider being extra generous on the tips for delivery people and waitstaff, since their income will drop due to a decrease in patronage. A bigger tip may not directly contribute to a restaurant’s bottom line, but it does help others and it contributes to the spirit of goodwill and appreciation in the community.