Seven ways you can help independent Princeton area businesses and non-profits during the coronavirus outbreak

By Bill Atkins

In addition to all the other worries on my mind right now about
COVID-19, I’m worried about the local businesses and non-profits in town that have had to temporarily shut down due to the outbreak. I was pleasantly surprised to find that there are easy ways to help support them, even while practicing social distancing. Many restaurants are offering curbside pickup, more local retailers than you might think have online ordering, and local non-profits make it easy to donate or get a membership online.

My wife and I decided to commit to make at least three purchases from a local business or non-profit every week until COVID-19 is under control and stores can reopen again. If we all do the same, we can help keep Princeton’s small businesses and non-profit going through this crisis.

So far, we’ve renewed our Garden Theatre memberships, placed online
orders from Labyrinth and Small World Coffee, and we’re planning to get Friday night take-out from a local restaurant.

Here are some ideas:

* Curbside pickup for one or two meals a week – not just sit-down
restaurants, but also casual restaurants that might depend on foot
traffic from downtown workers who are currently at home. Getting a nice takeout meal is also a nice change of pace from the sometimes monotonous life at home. Many Princeton restaurants are also delivering and you can order through their websites. Some are using services like Doordash or Grubhub to receive orders.

* Online donations and memberships to non-profits like the Garden
Theatre, McCarter, Arts Council of Princeton, and other organizations.

* If you’re having trouble getting staples at the grocery store, order coffee beans and ground coffee from Small World Coffee, or schedule a
delivery of bread or pastries from Lillipies.

* If you’re cooking more at home and need kitchen supplies, order online from Miya and Kitchen Kapers.

* Order books from Labyrinth online or over the phone if you’re looking for something to pass the time.

* Buy gift cards from restaurants and shops you want to visit once the
immediate danger has passed.

* Palmer Square’s website has a list of the creative options that their
tenants are offering right now, like pickup from the Bent Spoon’s back
door, or stores that support online or phone ordering.

Committing to regularly help local organizations and businesses can be a way to take a positive action every day, and can reduce the stress,
anxiety and fear we’re all feeling right now.

Please join us in making this commitment! We will all get through this

Do you have a story, column, or ideas to share with the Princeton area community about how to cope with the coronavirus pandemic? We welcome written, photo and video contributions from readers. Email editor@planetprinceton.com.