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SHOP SMALL: How to safely support local businesses

Alicia Colombo

Like its neighborhoods, Philadelphia is made up of many small businesses that are owned and operated by your friends and neighbors. These hometown shops, eateries and services, along with their hardworking entrepreneurs and dedicated staff, need your business now more than ever. Neighborhood businesses are the heart of communities across Philadelphia, providing jobs, goods and services for all residents.

While shopping looks different from previous years due to COVID-19 and the restrictions and precautions put in place to aid people in staying safe, there are still many ways to support local businesses throughout the pandemic. Here’s some tips on how you can safely support local businesses.

If you’re running low on a product, see if your favorite local shop carries it and order from that shop’s website. Also look into discounts offered by community small businesses and ask if they offer delivery services.

Philadelphia has dozens of neighborhood commercial corridors, which are anchors for communities across the city. From Germantown to South Philly to the Far Northeast, diverse shopping districts all over the city offer discounts, unique products and services, events, and more. Staying close to home reduces the number of possible interactions with others, which is vital for staying safe during COVID-19. Be sure to wear a mask, wash or sanitize your hands often, and follow other COVID-19 safety precautions. (For more information, go to and type “small businesses” in the search box.)

Many of your favorite local shops and restaurants sell gift cards onsite and online. You can buy a gift card to use later, especially as more businesses reopen. The store will get the support it needs now, and you get to look forward to a future shopping experience.

Restaurants across the city are offering delivery, curbside pick-up and takeout. Forget about cooking tonight and check in with your favorite neighborhood spot instead. Remember to tip restaurant staff and delivery people, and consider ordering directly from the restaurant instead of a food delivery service/app.

These are financially stressful times for many of us. If you’re not able to purchase anything from your favorite local businesses right now, consider sharing social media posts and encouraging your friends and family to “shop small.”

Let’s do our part to support Philadelphia’s small businesses. We’re all in this together!

Source: Philadelphia Department of Commerce

Categories: Milestones eNews


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