By Maribel Perez Wadsworth and Kevin Gentzel, USA Today
The safety measures that have forced us indoors and away from others to help stop the spread of COVID-19 are the right thing to do. We're confident our strength and resilience will carry us through. But we also recognize our small business owners need us more than ever as they take their own precautions.
To emerge from this with our communities strong and intact, we need to ensure that what make them special -- the coffee shop down the road, the local car dealership and our neighborhood music teachers -- are able to stay afloat.
While we may not be able to give them our patronage in person right now, there is much we can do to show our support.
Visit your favorite restaurant's website and purchase gift cards for yourself and others to keep some money flowing to their bottom lines. If those restaurants are still offering takeout or delivery, make a point to order from them now and again soon. And get gift cards for massage studios, arts and crafts stores, local jungle gyms and myriad other businesses.
If your local shops sell their merchandise online, make purchases -- even if the goods won't be available right away.
If you're shopping online for things you'll need while in self-quarantine, like home exercise equipment or activities for the kids, seek out local businesses to make these purchases...