With the new Stay at Home Order from West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, many businesses are being required to temporarily close and more people are going to be staying home.

This will cause even more local businesses to struggle financially and some may be forced to shut down for good.

Our state and local government are trying to provide some financial relief and other initiatives, but that will undoubtedly not take care of every business for as long as might be needed.

The reality is, it is up to all of us to come together and support these businesses in our local communities.

Local business is essential for our economy. They keep more dollars in the local economy and protect our local character and prosperity because many are one-of-a-kind businesses.

Many local businesses are owned by people who live in our local communities, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in each community’s future.

Local businesses also employ the most local people and when they do well, they often create new jobs. And local business supports our public services like police, fire, emergency medical services, streets, parks, libraries and much more.

So, we really need to help these local businesses that are feeling a financial strain right now. If you need to buy something, I encourage you to try a local store first. Here are 10 ways to support your local businesses:

1. Order food for delivery or take-out from a local restaurant.

2. Check for services at places other than restaurants such as a flower shop or hardware store that may provide delivery or curbside pickup.

3. Buy gift cards or gift certificates from your favorite local businesses to use later.

4. Share delivery menus and suggestions for local restaurants on your social media page.

5. Check with local businesses that may have added new services to fit the current situation. Perhaps a home cleaning service provides a disinfecting service or maybe a gift shop is now selling games to play at home.

6. Check to see if any of your local services/providers are now offering online videos or conferencing. Perhaps your yoga instructor or your children’s music teacher.

7. If you already paid for an event or class that was cancelled ask to have to funds placed in your account instead of asking for a refund.

8. If you have a talent, offer to volunteer your services to help a local business.

9. If you know about a unique promotion or idea from a local business, share it online. Many smaller local businesses don’t have much of a marketing budget.

10. Give a donation to a local charitable service organization.

And last but certainly not least, continue to support local journalism and your local newspaper with a print or digital subscription.

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