At Join In Jackson, it is our goal to encourage community and hometown involvement by curating the best events calendar – emailed weekly – and writing great posts that make it easy to Join In Jackson. Recent events have thrown us a curveball, and the sense of community we are seeking to cultivate has changed how it looks and feels. Let’s not lose our sense of community, and let’s support small businesses in our community to help them push through to the other side of this pandemic.
A Different Kind of Community Involvement
If this were a normal spring, we’d be knee-deep in baseball practices, trips to the park, and reintroducing the dog to lengthy walks.
But this isn’t a normal spring.
As we all know, our world has flip-turned-upside-down in the middle of this season and current “Stay Home – Stay Safe” order with COVID-19.
I think what we’re missing most is interaction. The sense of community we have when we’re out and about, going about the ordinary tasks in our day. The sense of the proverbial village that we all know we are a part of to one degree or another.
True, we are getting to see our neighbors more as about the only thing we get to do is go on walks. But there’s less stopping to chat. Less savoring. More anxiety. More fear.
Many of us feel most comfortable when we have something to do with our hands or with our attention. So what can we do right now to be a part of our community? We can’t go about our normal days so we’re not taking part in the village the way we always have.
While some things are harder under quarantine, there are some things that are easier. Sure, we can’t all get out and enjoy a concert or a meal together.
But we can still support one another:
- We can still look around at our neighbors and fill a need.
- We can still perform a random act of kindness.
- And we still can support small businesses in our community.
What Can I Do To Help Right Now?
Think about that Friday yoga class you like to take. What if you pre-bought a yoga class for when we’re out of this season? Or a month of classes? Or a year of classes?
Or what about your favorite cup of coffee from your favorite local coffee house? What if you pre-bought your morning coffee from your favorite local shop for a morning? A week? A month?
What if you planned now for getting your car detailed or your leaf pick up in the fall and made that purchase now?
You’re getting the picture.
Small businesses are a part of our everyday lives in so many ways. They are with us, often serving as the backdrop or as the sets for our everyday moments – both large and small.
- Dry cleaners, coffee shops, yoga studios, boutique shops, and more are where and how we celebrate the milestones as well as how we pass a perfectly ordinary Tuesday.
- Local businesses are the first people we call when we need a sponsor for our kids’ team or an item to auction off at a benefit.
And right now, we are able to uniquely cheer on and support small businesses in our community.
We can financially support small businesses by buying gift cards now for services we know we are going to use later. This lets our favorite small business owners know that we are here for them and we are looking forward to coming back when this is all over. If your favorite small business or service doesn’t have gift cards, call and talk to them about pre-paying for a service and having it credited to your account.
And maybe you can’t buy a year’s worth, let alone a month’s, worth of anything. That’s ok! We can’t do everything, but we can do something. And all of the somethings will add up to big impacts on small businesses.
Need ideas for local businesses you can support right now?
Check out our new project for lots of ideas for supporting local small businesses: #BuyInJackson!
What Other Ways Can I Support Small Businesses?
We get it – a lot of worlds have been turned upside down. So maybe buying a gift card isn’t financially possible right now.
You can still support your favorite local small business in lots of ways:
- share about them on social media
- leave a review
- order take out
Check out this graphic for even more ideas…
We Are The Village
When you think of all of the places, people, and services that have gone into playing a major or minor part in celebrations, milestones, and everyday moments, we can see the village, the community, that we are a part of.
Now is the time for us to step into our role in the village. Supporting local businesses. Supporting local non-profits. Sharing with neighbors. Seeing someone else’s needs and helping with it.
This is a start. We have a long road ahead of us. Every small step we take is a step toward the hope of tomorrow.