How to Support Local Businesses While Social Distancing

Working from home? Same. 

These are indeed unprecedented times, everywhere we look the government is halting international travel, restricting outdoor hours, and shuttering non essential businesses. These procedures are designed to slow the spread of the global pandemic and keep people safe.

For many the impact of these measures will be devasting. The same for independent business owners and start ups. Many have been forced to close their doors and some may not reopen.

We are all social distancing, which means our expenditures to local cafes, bookshops and gyms have come to an end. Because of the amazing technology accessible to us, many businesses have made clever pivots to service their customers without human contact. And henceforth, we must find ways of supporting in order to help them shine in these dark times. 

Every single customer matters when you are small.

As a small business ourselves, building a community is so important to us and we are so greatful for any support. From our own experience, we love discovering unique local brands and hearing about their story. Makes shopping all the more interesting. 

There are many ways to divert the money you would normaly spend on overpriced coffee, or at the flower market to smaller businesses. Here's some ideas to get you started and some of our favourite local businesses. 

1. Gift Cards and Dining cards- Support your local cafes and restaurants by paying ahead to get you back to your favourite places when the world is up and running again. Find out who's selling them on Open Table 

2. Order Supplies online- avoiding the queues outside the supermarket by buying your essentials online from independent businesses. We go to the Clothes Doctor for laundry day, &Sisters for toiletries, Kleen Soap for well ... soaps. 

3. Learn to Cook- there are loads of local companies who are preparing recipe boxes and fruit and veg boxes.

Read More: Seasonal Eating and Supporting your local producers  

4. Home Gym- Don't let all the post Christmas work go to waste and set up a home gym. Stock up on exercise supplies from: Gymbella for yoga mat, Sundried for Activewear, Silou London (coming to Naturalxlab soon) for yoga wear, House of Marley for eco headphones, Nought.co for water bottles.

5. Be your own barista- No need to resort to instant coffee or buying a machine, learn how to make your favourite coffee at home with these online café retailers:  Grind, Paddy & Scott, Caravan, Origin.

6. Start a hobby or find one to distract your child- due to schools closing, working from home, and the furlough scheme, people are finding themselves with a whole lot more free time. Free time to spend on themselves, mental and physical health and creativity. A good friend of ours; Florence Bridge, has been sharing some inspiration on her social media.