Our community and the hospitality industry in Onslow County is made up of many small businesses. With the closing of restaurants and bars to dine-in patrons and limitations on the number of patrons in stores, we encourage you to support our local businesses during this unprecedented time.
If you’re wondering how to help while investing in the health and well-being of your community, here is a list of a few things you can do. (These great suggestions are inspired by our friends at Visit Durham.)
BUY GIFT CARDS AND CERTIFICATES
For now or for later, there are multiple uses for gift cards and certificates — be they for a meal, retail offering, or activity you’ll take advantage of when you feel ready to later in the season. Have family members or friends with birthdays, anniversaries or special occasions later in the year? Purchase gift cards ahead of time! Now is the perfect window of time to make to keep small businesses from feeling the pinch.
BUY MERCHANDISE ONLINE
You’re online shopping anyway — why not online shop at your favorite local shops? Being intentional about your purchases at times like this make the world of difference for businesses who may actually have more inventory than usual due to lack of foot traffic. Below are a listed of shops that offer online shopping.
ORDER TAKEOUT + TIP WELL IF YOU CAN
Though restaurants may be closed for dining in, many are still open for pick-up orders, drive-thru, and some are offering curbside pick-up. Also, make your visit count by leaving a tip for your order to support the staff. Shifts may be harder to come by at times like this as well; slower days mean fewer shifts to go around for regular employees.
VIRTUAL TOURS + EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS
Looking for ways to explore Onslow County from home, then visit our local museums and businesses who are offering virtual tours and educational programs online. Show your support by liking the videos and sharing with family and friends. List of Virtual Experiences
Local businesses, artists, producers, gallery owners, and restaurateurs can always use more traction on social media. Be sure to follow your favorites to bolster their networks.
OFFER RELIEF TO A RESCHEDULED EVENT
Did the event you were hoping to attend get rescheduled? Donate to the organization, businesses, or groups that were scheduled to attend. Be sure to plan for an event further in the future by purchasing tickets in advance, or letting them know you plan to attend via social media.
FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS
If you’re an Onslow County business owner reading this and wondering what you can do if the coronavirus is affecting you, there are digital tools you can use to ensure that the folks who need to find you and your goods and services. Google recommends updating business hours if you’re limiting your open hours, updating your business descriptions to reflect current services, and making sure you have a correct phone number on your My Business Listing to ensure potential visitors can reach you.