Supporting small businesses and workers during the outbreak

Dan K News & Views

One of the scariest aspects of the COVID-19 outbreak has been the economic impact, including the potential government response. While we’ve put ourselves into various degrees of quarantine, some of us Freecoast fellows and friends have been doing a little bit of brainstorming and sharing of various ideas for what we can do to help out the wider community. For now, we wanted to share just a couple ideas that have been floating around the Internet.


Musicians are hurting right now, because gigs are getting canceled to avoid the congregation of crowds. Bandcamp is having a special tomorrow only (Friday, March 20th), midnight to midnight Pacific time, to help them out. They will be waiving their normal fees, so revenues go straight to the artists.

Bandcamp is a fantastic music store by the way, if you haven’t heard of it. Their music is DRM-free, and they offer mp3, flac, and ogg formats. If you were thinking of buying some music soon, please check out Bandcamp tomorrow, and see if what you’re looking for is there. You might be surprised at what you’ll find!

Local shops and restaurants

Local shops and restaurants are going to be facing a bad couple weeks, as we avoid going out in public. On top of that, dining in at restaurants was temporarily forbidden starting this week in New Hampshire by an order from the governor.

There’s a few options to help. First of all, you can of course make a point to order take out. The governor even issued a subsequent order allowing bars to deliver alcohol, so consider getting a beer from your local pub! You can decrease the physical contact by calling ahead with your order, and giving your credit card number over the phone. Or, you can see if they’re available on DoorDash or GrubHub (which also helps delivery folks, who right now may be displaced workers from other industries).

If you’re a bit more risk averse and want to avoid contact, or if you just feel like giving your favorite shop an extra boost to help get them through the month, you can also get a gift card. You might be surprised how many of your favorite places sell them. You might also want to check out a new site called Help Main Street. Read more about it on TechCrunch. As of this writing, Help Main Street doesn’t have a lot of New Hampshire business listed. Hopefully we can fix that soon. Another thing to keep in mind is that OpenTable is temporarily waiving fees for gift cards. If you’re friendly with a restaurant owner, perhaps mention that to them in case it’s useful.

Freecoaster Stephen put together a useful site with a directory of some of the local small restaurants and cafes out here on the seacoast that are offering takeout and delivery options during this time. It also has some useful tips on ordering safely. Check it out, and check back over time!

Stay Tuned

We should have more to discuss on this topic in the future!