How to help small businesses in St. Charles during coronavirus

By now, the coronavirus has completely changed day-to-day life our entire community, and although we remain open for business, it still feels like all the things we love to do have been put on hold. It’s a difficult time, for sure, but it’s also a time when we can show our support for local businesses. And they need it. Now maybe more than ever.

At Martin Door, we love being a part of the St. Charles community and care deeply about our neighbors and the small businesses we serve – not to mention the people who help us do our job better every day – from the servers we’ve gotten to know when we go to lunch, to the people who keep our trucks up and running.

Over the past week, we’ve been looking for ways we can support small businesses, especially those that are temporarily closed. Below is the list we came up with and we thought we’d share it with you.

Order carry out. Why not give yourself a break from the grocery store and order something to go from your favorite restaurant? If you’re watching your carbs and calories, take a night off and order from your favorite Italian restaurant. This is a rare chance to patronize restaurants that don’t normally do take out, so go ahead and place an order. Not only are you treating yourself, you’re also helping a restaurant weather this tough time. Note: many bars will happily sell you a six pack, too.

Take advantage of online exercise. After an evening of take out, you can burn off the calories with an online class offered by your local fitness facility. Many YMCAs, big gyms and little studios have set up classes offered on Facebook and Plenty of these are free, but you if take an online class on a regular basis, you may want to send the instructor or facility a donation. You can do this easily through Venmo.

Buy gift certificates. One day, in the very near future, we’re going to get back to a new normal. When that happens, we’ll be more than ready to visit our favorite businesses in person again. Purchasing gift cards is an investment in their future. It’s also cash for them now that you can redeem later, so it puts money in their pockets at a time when they need it the most.

Go holiday shopping. Here’s how you do it: First, make a list of all of your favorite local shops, then get online and see which ones take online orders. If they do, now is the time to do your Christmas shopping. Just think of how much time you’ll have come December. Here is a fantastic article about shopping local while sheltering in place.

Support local charities. The coronavirus has really put local nonprofits and charities to the task. Consider going online to find out what your favorite charity needs and help out. Check out the St. Louis Foodbank for ways you can help feed those in need. Need a friend to quarantine with?  Contact the St. Charles County Pet Adoption Center to foster a cat or dog while the shelter is closed.

One the greatest things about a crisis is that it shows how capable the St. Charles community is doing extraordinary things. Stay well, from all of us at Martin Door.

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