How to support local business from homePosted on: 17 Mar 2020
Bristol businesses of all sizes are about to be hit hard as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak.
As whole nations go into lockdown, and people are encouraged to stay away from social gatherings of any sort in the UK, businesses are approaching a period of huge uncertainty.
It's expected that many won't survive, and those that do will suffer huge losses as a result of serious drops in custom in the coming weeks. With many of us currently - or about to start - working from home and self-isolating, it's easy to feel as though there's nothing we can do to help.
On the contrary, there are several offers and schemes you can make use of from the comfort of your own home, such as buying a gift card or voucher from a Bristol venue, buying music from a local record store's website, or simply ordering a takeaway.
See below for a quick rundown, in no particular order, of the best ways to get behind and support Bristol business in unprecedentedly trying times.
Treat yourself to a takeaway
Restaurants and bars are expected to be among the hardest hit by the Coronavirus outbreak. Most of us don't need an excuse to order a takeaway at the best of times, but now, more than ever, you should think about sacking off the cooking and ordering in to support local businesses.
Deliveroo and Uber Eats are running as normal, with no-contact options in place to ensure your food is delivered as safely as possible, minimising risk of contracting the virus. Several spots are setting up their own delivery services, too, so make sure to keep an eye on social media platforms for updates.
As we're all encouraged to stay away from bars and restaurants, takeaway orders may well be the only source of income for thousands of establishments across Bristol and the rest of the UK in the coming weeks.
Buy music from online record stores
Idle Hands owner and DJ Chris Farrell recently wrote a widely-shared Facebook post outlining the challenges that are about to face his and hundreds of other independent record stores in the UK.
Record stores are tricky to run at the best of times, so if you're on the hunt for some new music or are keen to get your hands on a new release, be sure to check the websites of your local stores first to see if they've got it in stock.
Buy venue gift vouchers
Events are getting cancelled left, right and centre across Bristol's favourite venues, and it won't be long until gatherings of any kind are put on hold altogether.
Thousands of people in Bristol rely on venues for their income, so support your favourites by purchasing gift vouchers for yourself or loved ones for future events.
Colston Hall, The Watershed, The Hippodrome, Bristol Old Vic, Tobacco Factory, The Wardrobe Theatre and St George's all offer gift vouchers on their websites - purchasing one is the best way to help out as long as events and parties are put on hold.
Buy stock from your local
Pubs and bars everywhere are certain to be struggling over the next few weeks, so if you're thinking of stocking up on booze in anticipation of working from home or self-isolating, consider buying it from your local to lend them a hand.
We're not sure on the legality here, but if ever there was a scenario that qualifies for extenuating circumstances, this would surely be it. Buying some bottled beer or cider, mixers or even some spirits would be massively helpful for establishments facing uncertain futures.
Before you rush to the supermarket to buy ALCOHOL please CONTACT someone you may know at your local pub, bar, club they will need to get rid of stock and at a time like this and it may just help them survive a day longer #EveryLittleWillHelp #LetsWorkTogether— AmishB (@AmishBristol) March 16, 2020
Buy from local designers and makers
Bristol is home to a huge creative community, and whether people run shops, pop-ups or online stores, they'll surely be experiencing drops in custom in the coming weeks.
From eclectic t-shirt designer Turbo Island to craft ornament producers Bristol Blue Glass, Bristol's own Card Shack and the great range of locally-made products on sale at CoLAB, we're certain you'll find what you're looking for from an array of renowned Bristol-based creators.
Show love for your favourite pub/bar/restaurant/store online
We've all got our favourite Bristol spot, whether it's a Gloucester Road cafe, city-centre pub, riverside restaurant or tucked-away hidden gem. If you're unable to visit at the moment, it can't do any harm to write an appreciation post to a) show them you care, and b) spread the word!
Businesses across the city will be relying on online custom in the coming weeks, so why not give them a shout on social media and let them know you're a supporter?
Header Image: Martyna Bober
Supporting Local Venues: Motion launch fresh appeal for backing in dispute with developers
Editor - 365Bristol.com & LOUD Magazine
Matt is a Journalism graduate and writer, passionate about supporting Bristol music, art and independent business. Get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.