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How to support local business with your dollars and with grace

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While supporting local businesses is always important, it’s especially imperative during the current pandemic crisis.

And as these businesses struggle to keep their doors open, they hope customers will extend to them some grace and patience.

“In many cases, they are working at a dramatically reduced capacity,” Oswego Area Chamber of Commerce President Angie Hibben said.

Because of that, customers are likely to experience longer waits or encounter out-of-stock items.

“Every business, big or small is feeling that pain. They want nothing more than to be able to meet your needs,” Hibben said. “When they can't, extend a little grace and patience, remembering that they're working hard to stay open and serve their community.”

Another way that customers can show support is by Taking a moment to say thanks.

“When you go to the grocery store to buy what you need be sure to say thank you to the employees who are hard at work stocking shelves,” Hibben said. “It can be easy to forget that many of those employees are working overtime to keep their store clean and full of the food and supplies customers need. A simple thank you can go a long way to spreading a little gratitude and goodwill.”

Not ready to venture inside the brick-and-mortar locations just yet? Support them by purchasing a gift card or ordering online for delivery or pickup.

Additionally, provide honest reviews for these small businesses on Facebook, Google, Yelp, etc., and share their business pages with friends.

“Giving a small business owner some new customers may be the absolute best way to support them,” Hibben said. “They need the customers, and they need the cash.”

While some businesses were able to continue to thrive during the pandemic, others are still trying to catch up on rent, utilities, business loan payments and more.

“Some did not qualify for the federal loans and grant packages,” Hibben said. “So paying the monthly bills that arrive whether they are open or not likely comes out of their pocket and not out of sales.”

Oswego Area Chamber of Commerce : 73 W Van Buren Street : Oswego, IL 60543 : 630.554.3505 http://www.oswegochamber.org/