How to support local businesses whilst social distancing

COVID-19 has arrived in South Africa. Whilst we are all practicing social distancing to protect our loved ones and our greater communities from infection, unfrequented local businesses will suffer.

When you buy South African products, local businesses stay open, and can keep paying salaries to hard working South Africans. As responsible citizens, we must keep supporting local businesses, especially now.


Here is how you can support local businesses whilst still practicing safe social distancing:

 Buy online

Buying online means you aren’t exposing yourself to crowded retail environments. The retailers you support, and their delivery personnel are also less exposed to possible infection, because the interactions required to pick up and hand over packages can be limited to small groups.  Many delivery services now offer a ‘drop at my door’ option,  to further limit probability of infection through interaction.

Visit during off-peak hours

Many brick-and-mortar businesses are employing precautions to make them as safe as possible to visit in person. Precautions may include wearing gloves, providing sanitiser to customers at the door upon entering and leaving, or limiting the amount of people allowed in their shop at any given time.  To support these businesses, consider paying them a visit during off-peak times. If you are working from home, consider exercising at your local gym in the middle of the workday, instead of early in the morning, or after five in the afternoon.

 Pre-Order or Order in

If you are concerned about visiting your favourite restaurant, phone them and order a take away meal to pick up. Pre-ordering means you avoid waiting in line in a crowded space for long periods of time. There are many local companies that provide home cooked meals, that take orders up to a week in advance.

Many restaurants also subscribe to delivery services like Uber eats, Order in, Mr Delivery, or offer their own delivery service.

 Buy a gift card

There are certain businesses that need customers to be physically present for their services to be rendered. Think of a hair salon or massage parlour. To support these businesses now, you can buy the additional products, like the shampoo and conditioner they sell, or purchase a gift card.  The business receives cash immediately, and you can claim the service at a future time, when it is safe to do so.

 Hang on to your subscriptions or sign up for new ones.

Small subscription businesses have become all the rage. Every month you pay a fee and receive something you love in the mail. A curated case of wine, a box of makeup, a book or magazine, or a monthly puzzle or model airplane to build. Subscriptions are often the first thing to be cancelled when money is tight. Hang on to your subscription, it is supporting a local business with an income. It’s also a very handy thing to have during the COVID 19 outbreak, especially if it is for a hobby that can entertain you at home.