What a few weeks it has been…the Coronavirus outbreak has had a trickle down affect that none of us were prepared for. Social distancing is proving to be tough for many.
Small businesses across the nation are suffering in unimaginable ways, and we are trying to keep our spirits up despite the upsets we are all facing each day. With people staying at home, cancelled gatherings and events (like graduations and even weddings), and travel bans being enforced, it’s the hotels and small businesses all over that are struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Although, the light is there…it’s just glimmering through the springtime sky.
The perseverance that stems out of small biz is strong, and we are doing all we can during this time to lift each other up. Just a glance down our normally bustling King Street reminds us that the owner of our favorite boutique, the ice cream shop scooper, and the coffee shop barista are all a part of our family. They love joining us for a drink in our lounge and have spent many happy occasions up on our rooftop.
I encourage you to think about the places that make you feel “like home” and give them a little love however you can right now. With that, I have gathered a few ideas to help you keep busy during this time of social distancing.
GIVE A LITTLE LOVE
With extra time on your hands, you can help promote and support your favorite local businesses. Now is the time to create those logins for Yelp and TripAdvisor. We know you didn’t have time to write a thoughtful review before, but now you can put into words what makes that bar, coffee shop, and boutique hotel so special. It won’t only help that business with future reservations and customers, it’ll also give a little boost to that business’ staff. Now more than ever, they are feeling alone and missing their customers. Put a smile on their faces with a 5 star rating!
DINE AND SHOP LOCAL EVEN WHILE SOCIAL DISTANCING
Some restaurants are still able to offer curb-side pick up during this time. Take a quick trip to one of those spots. Give them a call or order online to give them a heads up that you are coming. The payment transactions are safe and usually completely mobile friendly. You can rest assured that they are following all the safety guidelines when preparing your to-go meal. And don’t forget they still have delicious food to offer you! It will get you out of your house for a few minutes, and let’s face it…those cheeseburger and hot wing cravings are starting to set in!
You can still shop your favorite boutiques online too! Many stores are listing their entire inventories on social media making it simple to see the new styles they’ve brought in. Remember these stores spent a great deal of their budgets on new spring and summer looks for you. They are doing all they can during this time of social distancing to show you what they were so excited to show you in their store. You may need a new swimsuit with all this warm weather on the way. Also, many businesses offer gift certificates for sale online. This is a great way to show support and give hope to those business owners that brighter days are ahead. The Horton Hotel has gift certificates available for purchase just a few clicks away.
PLAN A LITTLE GETAWAY
You finally have the time to plan out that future getaway you’ve always wanted to take. I mean really plan it…do the research on a place that you haven’t visited before or maybe haven’t explored enough of.
Create a roadmap to your destination. Start by finding out the best stops along the way there. Are there any must-sees that you can stop off the highway to see before you get there? Then dive deep into the lay of the land. Great resources for getting to know a specific destination include:
- Reach out to the Chamber of Commerce for that area
- Use Reddit to find tips from real-life travelers
- Read the local hotel’s blog posts because they are often posting all about their cities and towns
Make your “getaway pick list” of at least 5 must eats, 5 must sees, and 1 must stay. Don’t forget to ask your friends on Facebook if they have visited your chosen spot…they may have lots to tell.
MAKE THE MOST OF IT WHILE YOUR’RE SOCIAL DISTANCING
Use this quiet time on your couch to be intentional. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the places in your hometown that you are missing right now. Also, remember we are all in this together. Have any other ideas on how to support small businesses and stay productive during this time of social distancing? Share them with us! Drop a comment on our Facebook page, or send us an email. We’d love to hear from you. In the meantime, sign up for our email list to stay up to date on all things Horton. Just go to our home page and scroll to the bottom to sign up.
Written by Andrea Morton, Director of Operations for The Horton Hotel.