14 Ways to Support Small Business in RI Right Now

Keep calm and carry on with these helpful tips for staying safe and healthy when shopping and dining out

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Wondering how you can put health first while still frequenting favorite spots? First thing’s first: keep calm and stay informed. We’re all in this together – even if we’re all trying to keep our social distance! To help keep the Rhode Island economy thriving (and all of us from going stir crazy), we’ve assembled a list of ideas to keep supporting small business without leaving your comfort zone.

 

1. Soap Local

The Ocean State is filled with makers of soap and body products for your hygiene needs. Places like Beauty and the Bath, RI Soapworks, Shore Soap Co., The Peyton Co., and more offer all kinds of handmade and natural soap products. 

 

2. Boost Your Immune System

Stock up on juices and kombuchas from Fully Rooted, which offers juice delivered to your door if you’re feeling under the weather, or go to The Power of Juice for a vitamin-packed beverage. You can also order the antioxidant-rich tea you love from Ceremony via Leafy Green Tea.

 

3. Order Takeout or Delivery

Many of your favorite restaurants offer takeout and delivery options, which means you can still indulge in your cravings – from home. Some places are even expanding delivery services, like Plant City in Providence, and big king will be adding a takeout menu. Call to find out more about options near you.

 

4. Shop Local – Online

The great thing about the digital age? You can shop right from the comfort of your own couch. You can still shop small retailers for clothes, home goods, and guilty pleasure finds while avoiding crowds, and many, like Craftland and Frog and Toad, have online stores to shop from home for a quick pick-me-up if you’re feeling under the weather.

 

5. Farm Fresh Food

Many grocery stores offer delivery services, but farmers markets also offer a healthy way to stock up on fresh produce at their open-air markets. Find a market near you with Farm Fresh RI’s helpful search tool. 

 

6. Embrace Off-Hours

Go to your favorite cafes and restaurants during off hours to avoid creating long lines and crowds. Plan ahead and be patient with wait times - many businesses already have specific health policies implemented to keep you safe, but expect these measures to take a little extra time. Some places, like Caf Bar, are welcoming patrons to call their orders ahead for ease of pickup, and you can always pre-order donuts online from PVDonuts to skip the line! 

 

7. Meal Delivery

There are tons of local meal delivery services where you can access fresh, local food: Feast & Fettle, Good4U, Bites by Bre, and Savory Fare, to name a few. 

 

8. Keep Clean

There are tons of small but significant ways to practice hygiene and stay safe while shopping. For example, help protect employees and other patrons by leaving personal travel mugs and reusable straws at home and letting coffee shops fill a disposable cup for you instead. Throw away any napkins or disposables when you leave, and use alcohol wipes to clean off shared surfaces like shopping carts, baskets, door handles, and the surface of the POS system when checking out. 

 

9. Use Credit, Not Cash

Avoid using cash and coins, which are often passed through thousands of hands, and opt to pay electronically, whether it’s with a credit/debit card or apps and online services. 

 

10. Eat Outside

As it starts to get a little warmer outside, many places are opening up their patio and outdoor eating areas. To help circulate air, wear a light jacket and enjoy your meal in the fresh outdoors. You can even take your meal to go and picnic at a park!

 

11. Smaller Groups

While going out to eat or shopping can be a social affair, consider nixing the big group dinners to limit how many people are at your table sharing food and drink. Instead, stick to meals with two to four people – so you can still go on that date or family outing.   

 

12. Don’t Be a No-Show

If you decide to skip that dinner reservation, please be considerate and call to let the restaurant know as soon as your plans have changed.

 

13. Invest in Gift Cards

A great way to patronize a small business is to purchase gift cards for later use.

 

14. Stay Informed

This might be the most important tip. For up-to-date information, go directly to the source: The State of Rhode Island Department of Health. The site is updated regularly with tips and even a COVID-19 Info Line: 401-222-8022 (after hours, call 211).