Jo Johnson from Love Your Doorstep on what people can do to help as the public health crisis continues
During the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, aside from the obvious health concerns of the elderly or vulnerable, there will be a significant impact on our local business community.
We are already hearing of businesses who have had cancellations from people who no longer require their services. Of course, as is the case for many local businesses, there is concern over what happens when a self-employed person cannot work because they are having to self-isolate, or there is no need for their business during this time.
At Love Your Doorstep we have been trying to keep businesses up to date, communicating with them about any developments or any announcements of support or advice from the government. Everyone is trying to pull together at this challenging time, offering their suggestions of how a business facing difficulties might be able to adapt their offering slightly so that they can continue to provide a service and maintain their business, for example caterers delivering meals to individuals.
I’d like to highlight some of the ways that you can continue to support local businesses during this period. Firstly; shop online! Place your orders via the businesses’ websites or social media platforms. You can also buy gift vouchers for a product or service that you can use at a later date.
Although many local shows and events are being cancelled or postponed, you can still buy tickets for later on in the year. Local arts organisations such as Chickenshed Theatre are also asking people to consider not claiming for refunds on postponed events, and instead treat them as donations.
Remember you can still leave reviews for local businesses on the Love Your Doorstep directory page. You might have used them recently or even in the past, but being able to see your feedback reminds business that their work is appreciated and makes it all worthwhile. You can also share their social media posts and help keep their profile raised.
Another thing we have been discussing with our businesses is how they can help keep the community busy during their self-isolation, and entertain children during school closures. Keep a look out for tips and ideas of activities, recipes, crafts and boredom busters to occupy your time during this period. Having access to our community platform means we will all have each other’s company online, support each other, and help keep up morale.
At times like these our community pulls together more than ever. We are so fortunate to have so many people willing to volunteer their time to help others, along with some fantastic local charities trying to ensure everyone has everything they need.
North Enfield Foodbank and the Felix Project have been amazing with food packages for those who might need it, and our local faith groups and community groups are doing their bit to make sure the elderly and vulnerable members of our society in particular are looked after during these difficult times.