How to support local cafés and businesses during quarantine

“A small business is an amazing way to serve and leave an impact on the world you live in.” -Nicole Snow

This statement by Nicole Snow is true — but, as a small business owner, I think she only captured half of what it means to be a small business. Small businesses contribute to their community and the community is the heart of a small business. It is loyal customers who inspire small businesses to find new ways to serve them, regardless of the obstacles that threaten their survival. Here are our tips on ways you can support your local cafés, coffee shops, stores, and roasters during lockdown.

Find out about contactless sale options

When times get tough, small businesses tend to get a little tougher. Before giving up on your morning coffee run, call or check your local café’s website to see if they offer contactless sale options. Locally, we have seen some coffee shops allow call-in orders for pickup and use windows with screens as a make-shift walkthrough. One of our customers, Presto Strange O, has even started offering brewed coffee home delivery. Your favorite roaster or local farmer may also be selling their coffee / veggies via local home delivery services, such as a food or milk delivery company.

Order online or subscribe

Many roaster-owned cafés, coffee shops, and local produce stores are now accepting online orders with home delivery. If you love a local store’s products and are ready to commit to their future, we strongly encourage you to subscribe. Subscriptions give small business owners greater security and help them better anticipate cash flow when times are tight. Subscriptions also make them very, very happy! Committing to a subscription tells business owners that you love their product — and that is the only motivation they need to continue production.

Purchase gift cards for use in the future

If your favorite local roaster, café, or store is temporarily closed, you can still show your support by purchasing gift cards or subscriptions for use upon reopening. You may also consider purchasing branded merchandise and post pictures of their products on social media. Seeing someone using or wearing a product with their name on it gives small business owners a great sense of pride. It also helps remind others in the community that said business is still there and intent on serving them again soon.

Like, follow, and share the love

Follow your favorite local businesses on social media and / or sign up for their newsletter. In addition to showing your support, you’ll also learn about their plans for online shopping, home delivery, contactless delivery, and reopening. Many local specialty stores have also started posting how-to videos and blogs. As a final perk (in my option, the best perk!), you’ll get to say hello. As small business owners ourselves, we love to talk to our customers. They are our community. They help us make our products better and give us a sense of local purpose. We love to hear how you are doing ….and are sure your local businesses feel the same way.

Finally, a HUGE, heartfelt THANK YOU to all the incredible new and long-term customers who are supporting Mills Coffee and throughout the lockdown. Your comments, feedback, and unrelenting support keep us going!

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