7 ways to support local businesses during these difficult times

As we collectively cope with Ohio’s Stay at Home order, local businesses and nonprofits are facing lots of uncertainty. But there are ways we can all help. Below are a few options, but be sure to check the websites of your favorite places and organizations to see what creative ways they’ve come up with to serve their community while following government guidelines on social distancing.

Here are 7 ways to support local businesses during these difficult times:

Shop online 

Virtually all businesses remain up and running online, so use this time at home to do some online shopping. If you want to do some good in the process, click over to Blue Manatee Literacy Project.

Cincinnati’s little-bookstore-that-could is closed until further notice. BMLP is truly a place with purpose, using the one-for-one donation model to spread literacy in Cincinnati. BMLP’s online store remains open with 20% off your online purchase using the coupon code STAYHEALTHY. In-store pickup will continue to be an option during online checkout, with curbside delivery instead of coming into the store (arranged by appointment). {Stay in touch with BMLP — they’ll be offering Virtual Storytimes on Instagram Live at 10 amTuesday and Thursday.}

Order carryout

Bars and restaurants are closed to in-house dining but many are offering carry out and delivery options. Get a full rundown of Cincy businesses offering carry-out and curbside pick-up here. And if you’re craving comfort food, check out Good Pie Y’all.

Good Pie Y’all is run by Cincy mom Heather Wolper. Not only are her pies absolutely delicious, but
Heather also donates a portion of all pie proceeds to local charities. Order a meal for delivery/curbside pick-up — she will be offering 2-3 family friendly meals and 1 dessert each week starting next Thursday. Or consider a gift card; Heather will offer a limited number of gift cards for purchase to be used in September, October, November or December.

{Want to learn how to bake pies at home? Good Pie Y’all will post two weekly tutorials on Facebook: a baking tutorial for kids on Wednesdays “We Bake Wednesdays” and an easy dinner tutorial for grown ups on Fridays.}

Buy gift cards

Buy gift cards now and use them later! This is an easy way to support your favorite local shops. Stock up for upcoming birthdays and even holiday shopping. And many places are offering added incentives to purchase gift cards. Woodhouse Day Spa in Montgomery is donating 30% of online gift card sales and putting that portion in the emergency fund for its employees. We’ll then distribute 50% of it to our team based on hours worked, and use the other 50% for need-based emergencies. If there is no need, we’ll distribute the remaining 50% to the team once this mess is over.

Get social

Share the #ShopLocal love — be sure to share posts with friends and family to help spread the love for all things local. Playing on your outdoor play set? Tag Recreations Outlet. Are your kids watching a CMC Wonder Zone video? Tag @cincymuseum! This is a time us to connect any way we can, and simply tagging your favorite local businesses on Facebook helps do just that.

Take advantage of perks

Stores are getting super creative with special offerings. Take advantage of these specials by subscribing to e-newsletters and following your favorite local businesses on social media. King Arthur’s Court Toys offers especially awesome discounts via their social media pages. This toy titan also offers the *best* customer service in town, hands down.

Right now, King Arthur’s Court has a certified Toy Specialist on standby (call 513-531-4600 or email at [email protected]) to provide assistance in selecting the perfect toy, gift, puzzle or craft for your kiddo. As always, King Arthurs Court offers FREE gift wrap, making that new toy even more special.


Now more than ever, nonprofits can use your financial support. Nonprofits offer on very small margins in order to provide the greatest impact to the community, meaning unexpected events like COVID-19 hit extra hard. If you’re able, make a charitable donation.

Arts organizations have it particularly rough. Due to COVID-19 precautions and state mandated stay-at-home order, The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s upcoming performances of Matilda the Musical have been canceled. Instead of asking for a refund, consider the amount you paid for your ticket as an investment/donation to TCT. Helping to offset the loss of revenue for our nonprofits will make a huge difference as arts and culture organizations are forced to cancel events and programming due to the Ohio Department of Health’s ban on mass gatherings.

{Stay connected with TCT during this time via their TCT Everywhere page, where you’ll find crafts, acting and vocal exercises, videos of shows, contests and more. And for a limited time, the entire stage performance of CASPER: THE FRIENDLY MUSICAL streaming on YouTube!}

Become a member

If you favorite shops or non profits offer membership packages, now is a perfect time. Right now, the Cincinnati Zoo is offering a major 20% discount on memberships. {And all local businesses are prorating/extending memberships to account for current COVID-19 closures.}

Our local businesses need us — and we need them! Show your support and let’s weather this together and come out on the other side stronger and more connected than ever.

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