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5 Tips for Supporting Local Businesses

Normally, we spend late April and early May on the hunt for spring and summer projects, farmers' markets, and festivals to support. But, like all of you, COVID-19 has us sticking close to home.

Without a calendar full of events to plan for, we've turned our attention toward helping you support local businesses. Here are five tips for helping you support local businesses:

1. Support Local Farmers - Grocery stores are packed and curbside pick-up spots are scarce, but many local farms have instituted new procedures to help you get your hands on local meat and produce. Many are offering CSA shares and curbside pick-up options. Not sure where the nearest farm is? The University of Maine Cooperative Extension has put together the Maine Farm Produce and Pick-Up Directory to help you find nearby options.

2. Buy Gift Certificates or Shop Online - Mother's Day is coming up - if your favorite local store has an online shop, hop online and buy a great gift for mom. Favorite restaurant closed? Buy a gift card for a future, post-quarantine night out.

3. Order Takeout - Don't feel like cooking or want to support your favorite restaurant? Many places are offering takeout with curbside pickup or delivery.

4. Visit your Local Farmers' Market - Farmers' markets are a great way to support local farmers, and many have instituted polices enabling vendors and customers to practice social distancing while scoring some tasty, local produce. The Maine Federation of Farmers' Markets has a great list of all of the markets in Maine.

5. Practice patience! - Because of budget cuts, many small businesses may be operating with a smaller staff. So, if your order takes longer to arrive or your curbside pickup is late, remember that we're all in this together.

How are you supporting small businesses during this time? Got a great idea to share? Let us know!


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