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8 Ways to Support Small Businesses in Whatcom County

This year has been tough on many, and we've seen many businesses adapting so that they can still provide goods and services to our community. Here are a few ways you can support them:

1. Shop Local

Before purchasing something on Amazon, consider seeing if you can find it at a local shop. Check out places like Greenhouse for home décor, Fairhaven Toy Garden for toys, Village Books for books, Plants for All People for plants, and Fringe Boutique for clothing. Here’s a list of retail stores and shops still open in Bellingham and Whatcom County. Many shops are also offering curbside pickup and delivery. Downtown Bellingham Partnership has an interactive map that shows small businesses who are still operating Downtown.

2. Purchase Gift Cards

Visit the website of a local business you want to support and see if they are offering gift cards. This could be for a restaurant, hair salon, flower shop, clothing boutique etc.

Looking for a gift card that covers a wide variety of shops? The Whatcom County Think Local First Gift Card features over 150 participating Whatcom County businesses and continues to add more. Recipients of the gift card can shop at any of these locations including 12th Street Shoes, AB Crepes, and Petstop!

3. Order Take-out and Delivery

With new restrictions against indoor dining in restaurants, it's more important than ever to support them by ordering take-out and delivery. Bellingham Experience has a list of restaurants offering take out food, curbside pickup and delivery in Bellingham and Whatcom County.

4. Tip Generously

Many people in the service industry rely on tips to pay their bills. With hours being cut and dining room service closed, these workers aren’t able to make as much in tips. If you have the financial means to do so, tip them more than you usually would.

5. Show Up Virtually

Many classes, workshops, and meetings have shifted online. Gyms have taken a particularly hard hit this year, and even though you might not be able to go in person, you can take classes online. Places like Flux Power Yoga, Barre3 and Apex Fitness NW are all offering online sessions. There is also a wide range of online therapy options including those from the Restoring Connections Counseling Center.

6. Leave a Review

Positive reviews not only cheer up small businesses, but they also help new customers find them. Search for your favorite restaurant or local business on Google or Yelp and leave them a nice review. This is one way you can support them without spending any money!

7. Give Them Shout Out

Similar to leaving a review, give your favorite business a shout out on social media. If you order take out, consider snapping a picture and posting it on Facebook, and tag. You could also share some of their posts helping them spread the work to your network and beyond.

8. Donate

Choose to give without getting anything in return (besides the great feeling of knowing you’re supporting local businesses) by donating. You can donate your time, services, products, or cash to a business in need. 

We’re in this Together

In this time of hardship, we’ve seen our community step up, adapt, and support each other. If you know of any other ways to support local businesses at this time, please let us know! We want to do everything we can to help those around us.


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