These are tough times for small businesses with the coronavirus spreading across the globe and causing governments to take unprecedented measures to slow it down. If you are worried about all the small businesses struggling because of this, I've been keeping track of different ways that you can help. The restaurant industry is especially being hit hard. There are more than 15 million people employed by restaurants in the United States and while the average small business has a cash buffer of 27 days (still not a lot), restaurants on average have a cash buffer of just 16 days which won't be enough for most of them to get through the planned social distancing measures. Some banks are already estimating jobless claims will exceed 2 million people soon. While this isn't a substitute for the broad government support that should be introduced, here are some ways you can help alleviate the pain people are feeling in the short term:

1. Get delivery from your favorite local restaurants
This site helps you find restaurants that you can order directly from: If you can't order directly from a restaurant, many of the popular food delivery services have suspended, lowered or delayed fees collection and offered a contactless delivery option. Doordash has created a website to support this movement:

2. Take out food from your favorite local restaurants
While delivery is probably better for social distancing, ordering food for takeout is another option and even many restaurants that don't traditionally offer takeout have started offering it. Yelp just launched a new feature that allows restaurants to indicate if they are open for takeout or delivery:…/yelp-covid-19-response-and-support-…

3. Buy gift cards from your favorite local businesses
This is especially helpful for providing cash to businesses like spas, nail salons, gym studios, and barbershops that have had to shut down because they have been labeled as non-essential and can not operate remotely. Here are a few sites that have launched as directories of businesses offering gift cards: (New York) (San Francisco Bay Area) (U.S. wide) (U.S. wide)

4. Buy dining bonds from your favorite local businesses
These are basically discounted gift cards with a maturity date 30 to 60 days in the future:

5. Support undocumented workers in the service industry
Undocumented workers are estimated to be 20% of the restaurant workforce but won't have access to any relief programs that are rolled out and can't apply for unemployment benefits. Instead of asking people to buy gift cards or merch, Win Son restaurant in Brooklyn is collecting funds to support their undocumented workers instead. You can send money to @win-son on venmo if you are interested. I haven't found any other restaurant doing anything similar yet.

6. Buy NYC restaurants wine and food
Restaurants have a ton of wine and food in inventory and some of it may go bad because of such sharp decreases in demand. Some restaurants have started putting some of their inventory on sale online. This site provides a map of restaurants you can buy from in New York:

7. Sign this petition created by chefs nationwide for governments to take action to support small businesses…

8. Buy merch from your favorite local small businesses
Check to see if your local boutique store, gyms, etc. has an online store you can buy from. I haven't found any online directories for this yet but if you are in the Chicago area, this clothing brand created a new line with proceeds going to hourly Chicago workers:…/chicago-hospitality-united-100-of-…

9. Loan money interest fee to small businesses
Kiva has been providing small loans to businesses in the United States for a while now and they have increased their max loan size to $15k, made more businesses eligible, and offered a 6 month grace period in response to the coronavirus:

10. Donate to a relief fund set up to help small businesses through this
There are a lot of funds being created to support small businesses and their workers. Some might appeal more to you than others depending on where you are or who you are most interested in supporting

ONE FAIR WAGE Tipped and Service Worker Support Fund (CA, CO, DC, FL, IL, MD, MA, MI, NJ, NY, PA):

Restaurant Workers Community Foundation Emergency Relief Fund:…/resta…/donation.jsp

The Giving Kitchen in Georgia:…/d11bff52-0cd0-44d8-940…

Bartender Emergency Assistance Program:…/95524-covid-19-…

Southern Smoke in Houston:

D.C. virtual tip jar is a list of service workers and restaurants and their venmo, cash app, paypal usernames that are asking for cash in the D.C. area:…/1tz2uyhgy3MsBS68MHPzO8H…/htmlview…

Emergency Fund for U.S. Sommeliers:

Another Round Another Rally Emergency Fund:

Children of Restaurant Employees (CORE) Relief Program:

Seattle Hospitality Emergency Fund:…

Family Meal in Oregon:

Charlottesville Restaurant Community Fund:…

Coronavirus Worker Relief Fund in D.C.:

11. If you have the time and relevant skills, you can volunteer on some projects being spun up on to help small businesses and their workers
Give local:
Find covid jobs:
Digital vouchers:
Restaurant signup for delivery services:
Marketplace for freelancers:
Small business loan software:

If you know of any other opportunities to help let me know! Also, let me know if you personally know of any small businesses that are in need of help.