The effects of the COVID-19 outbreak have been devastating to many industries so far. Now more than ever we need to show the individuals who work and operate small businesses in Council Bluffs and Pottawattamie County our support. The good news is that there are still ways to help them out while practicing social distancing.


Consider Small Before the Big Guys

Many local businesses have an online store in addition to their brick-and-mortar locations. When shopping online, consider your small local businesses over the big guys. When you are buying from someone in your community, you are helping to keep people in their jobs.


Eat Locally

Many of our communities' restaurants have opened back up and are offering dine-in options. If you don't feel comfortable dining in, many restaurants are still offering takeout and delivery options. Not only will you get a great meal but you will also be supporting a worthy, local business. 


Buy Gift Cards for Later

Want to help support a local business right now? Buy a gift card. Even if you aren’t going into stores to shop at the moment, you can help your local economy by purchasing gift cards now that you can use when life returns to normal.


Say Thank You

Be sure to thank every employee that you interact with during these difficult times. It is easy to forget that many employees are working overtime to sanitize their businesses as well as keeping stores full of the food and supplies that customers need. A simple thank you can go a long way.


Pay with your Debit or Credit Card

When possible, try and pay with your debit or credit card. Paper money and coins have been touched by many hands and carry germs. Using your debit card that you can disinfect will help limit the spread of germs.


If You’re Feeling Sick, Stay Home

If you are feeling sick, don’t put others at risk. This tip is common knowledge at this point, but it is so important to remember. It would be terrible to get a small business employee sick because a customer went out when they shouldn’t have.


Understand the Hard Decisions

Things are extremely difficult for many business owners at the moment. Be gracious and understand that the decisions businesses are having to make are not easy ones.


Council Bluffs and Pottawattamie County are a strong and resilient community. Times are difficult, but there are ways that we can help our community get through this. Support your neighbors, show compassion, and wash your hands!   

This post was originally published on March 17, 2020 on the Unleash Council Bluffs blog.