8 Ways To Support Local Business While Practicing Social Distancing | Gentle East Martial Arts
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ACCESS OUR VIRTUAL SCHEDULE
& BOOK YOUR FREE VIRTUAL SESSION🗓️

Our Physical doors might be shut - but our DIGITAL DOORS are OPEN! Secure your spot & get started today with our FREE EXCLUSIVE online offer!

By opting into the web form above you are providing consent for Gentle East Martial Arts to send you periodic text messages. Standard rates may apply. You can reply HELP at anytime or learn more. You may opt-out anytime by replying STOP.
Erin Elam reviewed Gentle East Martial Arts
5
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I can’t explain just how amazing this place is! My daughter was born at just 23 weeks, 1lb. She just turned 3, and is doing well but had a long bumpy road. With said, she has some visual impairments, mild cerebral palsy, and severe anxiety issues. We are four classes in now, and although my daughter cries each time we get to the school, the instructors (every single one) ALWAYS treat her like their own and take their time with her. She comes out of class so happy and oh so proud of herself! They do not treat her differently because of her impairments, they are all patient and kind, and above all understanding. We are BEYOND pleased with GEMA, and the staff to include the wonderful families we have met. Thank you GEMA for creating a better world for my daughter!

Marc Grenier reviewed Gentle East Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

An awesome martial arts school that truly cares.

Hillary Hogan reviewed Gentle East Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I have had a blast. I look forward to continuing to learn each form.

Sharon Takai reviewed Gentle East Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

We love the instructors and family atmosphere! Thank you!

Kathryn Carson reviewed Gentle East Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I've tried a bunch of martial arts over the years, but it wasn't until I got to Gentle East that I realized that the art itself doesn't matter so much--it's the attitude of its practitioners. These people aren't learning and teaching how to kill, but how to live. How to live despite trauma and illness, and to keep practicing their art even if it's just in their hearts. The tenets are courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit, and they mean every word. They teach the kids that other dojangs won't. Autistic, physically challenged, special needs, you name it. They're fully engaged with the messy business of life. A whole lot of families are glad that Master Barbara Robinson followed her vision. Ours is one.

Melody D. Choate reviewed Gentle East Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Love, love, love this place! The staff is incredibly kind and supportive, and the family atmosphere is palpable the moment you walk in the door! I am so impressed with the work being done with autism spectrum kids, as well as other kids with physical challenges. No one is made to feel like they don't belong here! I even joined the mommy class and my toddlers are allowed to run around us while we work out. I've lost a few pounds, and gained some amazing (non-judgemental) mom-friends! An oasis of kindness and support in the middle of what is often a 'keep up with the Jones's " area of town.

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8 Ways To Support Local Business While Practicing Social Distancing

The world is a crazy place right now.  Here in Midlothian, where coronavirus has us all staying home and being responsible about our social distancing responsibilities.  Many people are left wondering what to do as they find themselves thrust into the world of homeschooling, telecommuting, and even unemployment. With the recent mandates by government officials, many business owners also face uncertainty about what the future might hold.

In the long run, things will return to normal.  In fact, many of the adaptations we are making in our lives and businesses will likely become the new norm.  Even in the midst of Covid-19 worries, people with an entrepreneurial mindset are already finding ways to thrive.

Looking forward to a time when we can all start getting back to normal, it is essential that we all take steps now to support the businesses we love most.  Many small businesses operate on extremely tight margins, meaning that even a few days of being closed down can impact them for quite a long time.  Closing for a few weeks or months of quarantine means that many businesses will likely close forever.

With this in mind, let’s look at some ways that we can support our local small businesses now so that they will still be there when things settle.  While many of these steps do require some monetary support from those who have the means to do so, many are also free, effort-based actions.  Even when times are tight, your attention can be the most valuable thing you have to share, and it does make a difference.

1 – Buy Gift Cards or Gift Certificates

“Cash is oxygen to a business,” says Gary Vee.  Without money coming in, it is hard for a business to keep the doors open.  While we may not be able to go to our favorite establishments right now, many of them are still open to do deliveries and take calls.  Many more have an online presence.

By purchasing gift cards, we can provide those businesses with a bit of cash flow to help hold them over.  Essentially, we are helping to flatten the curve of their debt so they can survive a bit longer.  Then, when the world returns to normal, we can use those gift cards for a nice treat, or perhaps to celebrate with some friends.

A single gift card may not be much, but when many of us come together it starts to add up quickly.

2- Order To-Go

Even in Midlothian where restaurants and other foodservice establishments are open for take-out and delivery. Ordering to-go lets the business keep the doors open, but more importantly, it helps them keep their kitchen staff employed. Business keeps the doors open, but more importantly, it helps them keep their kitchen staff employed.

Many delivery apps, such as Uber Eats and GrubHub, are also providing free delivery services.  Be sure to check with your favorite restaurant to see if the business fees have also been waived, or if they have alternate delivery options available.

3 – Shop Remotely

Usually, when you think of shopping online, sites like Amazon or Ebay come to mind.  While many small businesses do work with these major retailers, the closer to home we can keep the money, the better it will be for our local businesses.

Many local businesses have online portals or e-commerce sites, or they can custom-build links for the things you need.

4 – Maintain Subscriptions

When things get tight, many people look for ways to trim the budget.  While this is certainly important, the current situation is temporary.  Once we have coronavirus under control, life will resume.  When assessing which subscription or memberships to keep and which to cancel, include the value each brings to your life and the community in your calculations.

Perhaps that magazine subscription could go since you are already three months behind on your reading.  The national publishing house will likely be more able to adapt or to leverage credit and government programs to stay afloat.

Your local gym, massage clinic, or newspaper may be more severely affected by short-term losses.  Of course, your family’s well-being comes first, but if you have the means, maintaining those memberships for as long as possible can be an enormous help to those small businesses.  They will likely make it up to you later with perks.

5 – Window Shop on Social Media

In the world of marketing, word-of-mouth is some of the most powerful advertising there is.  The modern version of this idea is social media interaction.  Even with brick-and-mortar locations closing, may businesses are ramping up their online spending as a way to attract more customers.  This takes a lot of time and can cost a lot of money… money that may not have.

One quirk of online marketing is that the more people talk about a business, interact with that business’s posts and content (such as liking, commenting, or sharing), the cheaper the marketing becomes, and the more people will see it.

When the businesses you like post content on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or their blog, be sure to click on it, like it, comment, and even share it.  If you are using that business’s services, this is a great time to leave them a positive review on Google.  Every little bit helps, and you may even see something you want or need to buy.

6 – Donate to Non-Profits

Non-profit businesses are committed to causes beyond making a profit, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need access to funds in order to complete their missions.  Donating a few dollars to a local charity helps them keep the doors open and allows them to help those most in need.  By keeping the donations local, much of the money will also stay local as those small charities tend to serve members of their immediate community.

Even if your budget is tight, you can donate clothing, services, and food.  In fact, if you donate those gift cards you purchased, the effects of your efforts are magnified as your initial purchase now helps an even greater number of people.

7 – Stock Up On Local Produce

Farm stands and farmers’ markets conjure thoughts of meandering road trips.  Many of these farms are open year-round, and buying the produce, meats, honey, and other products from the local farmer can help them stay afloat while they figure out new ways to get their products out to retailers and restaurants.

As an added bonus, by keeping your purchases local, fewer hands will touch the food you are bringing into your house.  Minimizing contact as much as possible is key to flattening the coronavirus curve.  It’s a win-win!

8 – Talk About Them

Many businesses are using the interruption of their regular operations to provide community service.  Pizzerias are providing at-home pizza kits to kids, teachers are reading bedtime stories on Facebook, and martial arts schools like Gentle East Martial Arts are teaching lessons to students via FaceBook posts.

When you see these businesses doing something good for the community, help spread the word.  Post about them on Facebook, tell your friends about them, or even use them as examples as you teach your kids about community service in the face of adversity.

Small Businesses Are The Lifeblood of the Community

We often look to big businesses, the stock market, or celebrities for direction, and in turn, provide them our support.  But, when you go about your daily routine, when you drive through your community, when you hear your friends talking about their dreams, it is local business that drives the local economy and supports many of the activities and relationships within the community.

Be sure to support your favorite establishments and you’ll help ensure they are there when it’s time to leave the house again.

Do you have a favorite local business?  Shout them out in the comments!