• Taylor Stewart

5 Ways to Help Local Businesses From Your Couch

As we shift more towards social distancing you might want to consider supporting your favorite mom and pop shop from your couch!


Here are some helpful ways that you can support the local businesses you know and love without risking the spread or contraction of COVID-19.


Shop Online


Courtesy of Seasick Records

We might be used to shopping online by using our Amazon Prime accounts - but let’s switch our focus to a more local (and ethical) way of shopping online.


Every shop is different, but just because they’ve closed their doors to the public doesn’t mean they’re not there to provide the same level of service from afar. Here in Birmingham, our friends at Seasick Records and Thank You Books are operating through their online store. And - they’re hand-delivering their product or have committed to free shipping on all orders.


If you haven’t yet, pick up an issue of Camellias - we’ll ship it to you free of charge (or if you live in the Birmingham area we can arrange a pickup!)


Buy a gift card


Ah gift cards - the gift that truly keeps on giving. I love receiving gift cards for my favorite places - my mom on Christmas stuff my stocking full of these vouchers to some of our favorite places.


Do you have a coffee shop, restaurant, or store you love? Consider calling or emailing them and request a gift voucher purchase. This way the company is still receiving daily income while we’re all at home and you can treat yourself in a few weeks!


Photo courtesy of Bandit Bham

Carryout and Delivery is still an option


While some restaurants are producing a limited menu - many are still offering carryout and delivery options.


Our friends at Bandit Patisserie are offering curbside ordering and delivery where you can choose anything from their delicious pop tarts to family meals! I know most of us have stocked up on canned goods and frozen dinners - but there is truly nothing like a freshly made meal from one of your favorite restaurants. Give them a call - and see what their game plan is during these next few weeks!


I personally recommend their homey Chicken Pot Pie! Perfect for the roommates crowded around reruns of The Office or a family of four! I’m also a sucker for a good pastry - like their croissants - I love having one for breakfast or a light afternoon snack.


Donate


Even if it’s just five dollars - consider donating to your favorite arts organization in your city.

Whether you’re young or old, everyone seems to be on the struggle bus as far as your wallet goes. We’ve watched our friends in arts organizations cancel productions and concerts due to worries about the spread of the coronavirus.


The Alabama Symphony Orchestra is a great example of keeping the state of Alabama entertained while we’re working from home.


Check out their social media - you can find free concerts from other symphonies, activities to do from home, podcasts to catch up on, and more!


Nothing is more valuable to our community than our artists and musicians - let’s make sure to help them during this time too.


Be Patient and Say Thank You

Photo by Taylor Stewart

As Southerners we are known for our hospitality - so let’s continue that trend throughout these next few weeks.


While you practice social distancing - be sure to be grateful to those who continue to work if you have the privilege of working from home.


If you’re ordering roadside pick up - thank that person for preparing your meal and be sure to tip. If that concert or play you were looking forward to was canceled, ask if you can donate the ticket instead of getting a refund.


Above all else, practice the virtue of patience and understanding. You never know what others are going through, and odds are they’re probably just as stressed or scared as you are.


List of Local Businesses whose doors are (semi) open!


Alabama:


Bandit (Birmingham, AL) Curbside and delivery

The Essential (Birmingham, AL) Curbside

Karma Coffee House (Cullman, AL) Curbside, take-out, and delivery

The Lumbar (Birmingham, AL) Sidewalk Bar and Curbside food to go

MELT (Birmingham, AL) Curbside

Seasick Records (Birmingham, AL) Curbside and local delivery

Thank You Books (Birmingham, AL) Curbside from 10-2 Tuesday-Sunday

Three Pears (Cullman, AL) Curbside, free local delivery, free shipping

Tropicaleo (Birmingham, AL) Curbside

Trove (Birmingham, AL) Online shop


Do you know of another restaurant, store, or organization in the South that is offering curbside pick up, local delivery, or has a great online store to support? Comment below and we'll update the list accordingly.

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