Impact of COVID-19: Be a Conscious, Local Consumer and Supporter

This is a guest post by Maria Brady. In light of recent cancellations, the Omaha economy faces a period of uncertainty. The economic downturn will impact businesses, workers, families and individuals in various ways—and to differing degrees.  We must remember that little steps can go a long way. While we should limit non-essential social contact…

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This is a guest post by Maria Brady.

In light of recent cancellations, the Omaha economy faces a period of uncertainty. The economic downturn will impact businesses, workers, families and individuals in various ways—and to differing degrees. 

We must remember that little steps can go a long way. While we should limit non-essential social contact for the time being, we can also think about ways to support businesses remotely. Perhaps you can call or email the proprietor of your favorite local restaurant and order a huge gift certificate for use whenever this era of quarantines is finally over.

When social distancing ends, please: 

  • Buy local one-to-two more times a week than you currently do. Skip your usual coffee order from a chain shop, and try out a new local joint. 
  • Instead of ordering gifts from massive online distributors, check out local boutiques. 
  • Try to get out and explore Omaha’s galleries, farmers markets, and performances. 

And during this time, please don’t forget about your neighborhood nonprofits and community organizations whose purpose is to support those among us who are in positions of increased need. These hard-working groups support Omaha’s children and at-risk populations. They pave the way for future education and economic opportunities. And they face increased needs at a time when many people will be turning inwardly, away from one another.

The pandemic makes these generous organizations’ fundraising prospects increasingly uncertain.

So, what can you do?

Make a difference: be a conscious consumer in the year ahead. I am personally asking you to be a conscious, local consumer and supporter. 

Drink at a locally owned coffee shop, eat at your favorite dive bar, donate time or money (or both!) to a local charity. These industries are going to hurt. But we can support each other.

And in the meantime, as we take the necessary precautions and safety measures during this period of social distancing, don’t close yourself off from human connection entirely. Take advantage of the power technology has to connect us. Many neighborhoods are organizing emergency needs lists so they can help each other out. We strongly applaud this. 

And, of course, wash your hands, cover your mouth with your elbow when you cough or sneeze, don’t touch your face, and don’t go out (including to work) if you feel sick.

Maria Brady is the Membership and Retention Coordinator at the AIM Institute.

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