Every day, we seem to get some new piece of news that seems to get worse all the time. Sure, there's a lot of unneeded hysteria going on, no doubt. People are snatching up toilet paper and cleaning supplies like there's no tomorrow. But the thing is, while big box stores and chain stores are busy as heck, local businesses might take a big hit.

Local businesses, especially restaurants, are seeing their numbers start to shrink. And it's totally understandable. Folks are nervous about going out into public places right now, as well as the CDC touting the importance of 'social distancing'. But local business will suffer even greater losses if we don't help out a brother or sister.

So, what can we do?

What we can do, is start buying gift cards to some of our favorite spots. Whether it's a sandwich shop, coffee shop, clothing store, groceries...whatever. Bonus if you can buy the card online. But what it will do, is put some much needed cash into the coffers of the small businesses.

Their profit margins are tight as heck, and when folks stop coming, that turns immediately into zero profits. Most small places can't afford to go months, or even weeks without steady traffic. So if you bulk up on a few gift cards that you can use later when things settle down, you'll have something to look forward to later. And small shops will have some capital to keep going.

Which makes it a win-win for all involved. So stop by all your favorite spots and do what you can. Your small $10-$20 purchase may be just what keeps their lights on and their doors open.

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