COVID-19 has certainly affected everyone, and local bars, restaurants, eateries, and other small businesses in the Pittsburgh area have been among those hit hard. Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf shut down dine-in service for restaurants on March 16, 2020, as a precautionary measure to prevent the spreading virus. This reduced a significant and essential source of income for those establishments. Since then, shut downs have expanded to all non-essential businesses, including many locally owned stores selling things like clothing, shoes, home goods, specialty gifts and other non-essential items. Fortunately, businesses have worked to find ways to continue operations in a safe manner. Making the most of delivery or takeout options, discounts, and specials can benefit both the business and customer during this strange time where access to food and goods is limited and where it can be stressful to navigate in-person shopping when needed.
Many Pittsburgh restaurants remain open for takeout and delivery. A list of these establishments can be found at https://downtownpittsburgh.com/pittsburgh-restaurants-offering-delivery-takeout/. Many have paired with delivery services such as UberEats, Grubub, DoorDash, and Postmates to further facilitate the ability to patronize these restaurants while maintaining appropriate social distancing. UberEats offers $0 delivery fee for all local restaurants, and offers the option to have food left at the door, rather than require a face-to-face encounter between delivery driver and customer that could put either party into an uncomfortable situation. GrubHub offers their “Supper for Support” option, which provides for $10 off orders of $30 or more every day, from 5:00pm – 9:00pm, features many local restaurants, and also offers options to avoid in-person contact for delivery.
Many local Pittsburgh breweries, wine shops, and distilleries are open for takeout orders of their beers, wines, liquors, sodas, or other beverages. Many offer curbside pickup, to help maintain social distancing, and are taking precautions to sanitize the orders for pickup. With state stores being closed during the COVID 19 crisis, this is a great way to support local businesses even more. Local distilleries have even begun to produce hand sanitizers to help with the ongoing shortage, particularly for healthcare workers and first responders. You can find information about where to place these orders, as well as the hours of operation and pickup precautions here: https://www.pittsburghmagazine.com/pittsburgh-breweries-and-distilleries-still-open-for-business/.
Finally, boutiques or smaller local stores, which are often owned by individuals or families, are affected by closings. Many of these businesses rely heavily on walk-in customers or hosted events, all of which are on hold during this time. While shopping may be on hold for many right now, if you need to purchase a gift for a birthday, new baby, or other occasion in the coming weeks, consider an online order from a local business. Many are offering free shipping to help foster business and ease the financial burden that most are experiencing. You can do a little online searching to find websites that offer online purchasing for the kinds of items you want to buy and see if you can find the perfect item or gift from a local business.
We are all in a state of adjustment and uncertainty as a result of the COVID 19 situation, but taking the opportunity to support local businesses when you can will help alleviate some of the effects on the economy where you live.