Here’s How You Can Support Local Businesses During the COVID-19 Shutdown

Safe ways to help small business survive.
Craig Whitehead E1sid6pkht8 Unsplash E1584402246588 770x433

On Monday, March 16, San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced a shelter-in-place order for six Bay Area counties — which has since been extended to seven — that confined millions of residents to their homes for three weeks with exceptions for essential work, food or other needs. These new orders by health officers in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties is the most aggressive public response to coronavirus anywhere in the U.S. Since then, the entire state of California and others across the country have issued similar orders.

Marin’s community is amazing and now is the time for all of us to come together and support local businesses as best as we can. This closure is forcing local business owners to offer alternative ways to keep their businesses afloat — and keep their staff paid — while we all face these uncertain times. Here are a few ways you can lend your support.

This list will be updated regularly. Have a tip or see something missing? Contact us.

Order Take-Out From Local Restaurants

Take Away

This aggregator will tell you which restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area are open for take-out, curbside pick-up, or delivery. The Marin IJ will be updating their list. There are also many options via Grubhub (they are delaying fees for restaurants) and Caviar, as well. Plus, all pretty much offer contactless delivery.

Shop Online

Coronavirus Credit Card

If you have the means, treat yourself — this is your chance to shop from home with zero guilt, because it’s the right thing to do. Here are a few ideas — just remember to choose local over big-box stores:

  • Send a gift or a care package to a friend.
  • Order beautiful letterpress cards and mail to friends and loved ones.
  • Send chocolates or a small gift to your elderly parents or family members who you can’t visit.
  • To keep the kids entertained, many toy stores are offering curb-side pick-up.
  • Book your hair appointment for April, lots of things can happen to your tresses in three weeks.
  • Lots of local fitness professionals are offering live training sessions. Don’t let your fitness slip, see which one of your guru instructors are available virtually.

Purchase Gift Cards and Tickets to Future Events

You know you’ll be back to visit your favorite restaurants, shops, museums and breweries when things are back up and running, so purchasing gift cards online or by phone is a great way to help out. Need a birthday gift in the next few months? Get a gift card or theater tickets. Forgot to get your friend a wedding gift? Visit that registry now. Planning an event soon? Commit to it and put down the deposit.

Don’t Cancel Your Memberships

gym membership

If you can, please don’t cancel your memberships to gyms or other businesses. Even if they have to close, memberships will help keep them afloat. Some of your favorite gyms and workout studios have online stores too — don’t forget to shop or purchase gift cards for future services.


Whether it’s food, blood, or money — agencies are struggling more than ever to meet their goals.

If you’re interested in donating, here are some suggestions of who to give to from the Marin Community Foundation.

Kasia PowlowskaKasia Pawlowska loves words. A native of Poland, Kasia moved to the States when she was seven. The San Francisco State University creative writing graduate went on to write for publications like the San Francisco Bay Guardian and KQED Arts among others prior to joining the Marin Magazine staff. Topics Kasia has covered include traveltrendsmushroom hunting, an award-winning series on social media addiction, and loads of other random things. When she’s not busy blogging or researching and writing articles, she’s either at home writing postcards and reading or going to shows. Recently, Kasia has been trying to branch out and diversify, ie: use different emojis. Her quest for the perfect chip is a never-ending endeavor.

Categories: Health, Marin Matters