Sun Editorial: Taking care of business

We need our local businesses — and right now, they need us, too

You grab a pizza on the way home from work. Find a perfect birthday gift at a local boutique. Relax in a sparkling home after a cleaning service departs.

From food to fashion, housework to handiwork, books to board games, local businesses help check off everything on your to-do list.

Without question, we need our local businesses. But right now, they need us.

Gov. Phil Murphy’s stay-at-home order is essential to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is admittedly not easy on anyone, least of all the vibrant mom-and-pop shops, restaurants and service businesses across the state. Under the order, non-essential retailers had to temporarily close brick-and-mortar locations. For eateries, takeout business is still OK, but eating is a no-go.

In financially able, there are still ways to support businesses you know and love.

Purchase a gift card to use later or to give now to your letter carrier, child’s teacher or anyone who is still working during the quarantine. You can also donate gift cards to the Animal Welfare Association’s Online Gift Card Auction. The Voorhees-based animal shelter is hosting a continuous online raffle of donated gift cards, so it’s a perfect way to show love to your favorite businesses and help your furry friends, too. Physical gift cards can be mailed to the shelter at 509 Centennial Blvd., Voorhees, and virtual gift cards can be emailed (subject line AWA Online Gift Card Auction) to events@awanj.org. Learn more at www.awanj.org.

Order takeout from local restaurants; it’s a safe option, too. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19.  So go ahead and bring home a pizza or indulge in that favorite Chinese takeaway — the restaurateurs will thank you, and so will your stomach.

Lastly, keep tabs on your favorite businesses in local advertising (right here in The Sun!), social media and by word of mouth. Local business owners are thinking of all sorts of creative ways to keep the cash flowing — they’re just depending on us for those ideas to work.