• Liz Logan

#GOSupportGaston with these mini-blitzes designed to connect residents with local businesses

Updated: Apr 3

Note: After the stay-at-home executive order went into effect, many businesses have felt the urgency of rallying community support. In partnership with SupportGaston.com and towns across Gaston, #GOSupportGaston aims to direct locals and beyond to put their support behind Gaston County businesses through targeted mini-blitzes. Check the events page to see how you can help.

If there’s ever been a time to support local businesses, it is now.

Just a few short weeks ago, business as usual came to a grinding halt with the directive to stay at home. While this has positive impacts on public health, it has caused a multitude of uncertainty for small business owners.

In these difficult times, we risk becoming overwhelmed and passively watching many of our beloved restaurants and storefronts close for good. Instead, we can take this opportunity to be intentional with our dollars, choosing to purchase goods and services from those most affected by this pandemic.

Many businesses and establishments deemed non-essential have either shut their doors for the time being or dramatically altered how they do business due to the sudden decrease in spending. And while many of these businesses are making an effort to stay open, the reality of this is that many may not reopen even after the restrictions have cleared.

According to a survey of 370 business owners in Gaston County, 78% expressed concern surrounding cash-flow during this time and 59% are concerned with employee reduction. Almost one-quarter of our local economy is on the backs of the 19,000 individuals employed by the food and beverage, retail, arts, entertainment and recreation industries—some of which are most impacted by these changes.

So, what do we do to avoid losing our favorite shops, services and restaurants? As one anonymous business owner responded to the survey put out by the Gaston Business Task Force, “Act fast, please.”

If we had a rallying cry for this economic and social situation we collectively find ourselves in the midst of, this would be it. So how exactly can we act fast?

At Gaston Outside, we have made it our mission to support local business and it’s needed now more than ever. Most of us are now isolated in our homes, eager for a change of scenery and a way to stay connected to the outside world. In response, #GOSupportGaston has filled April’s calendar with mini-blitzes to support the local businesses dear to your heart. This effort ranges from purchasing goods and services to showing support online and elsewhere through various mini-campaigns aimed at keeping morale high and doors from closing forever. We are urging residents to join the #GOSupportGaston movement in a few different ways.

Photo Courtesy of @thepuplady

First, we are asking you to help get the word out in a few different ways. You can add this frame to your Facebook profile photo showing your support of Gaston County businesses. Make sure to like, comment and connect with your favorite businesses on social media, helping expand their exposure and outreach. Follow our Go Support Gaston event page for updates. Your support is not only appreciated but critical during this time.

In addition to your online support, we are urging you to shop local. A database of local businesses that are open for you can be found at SupportGaston.com. Let this be your first stop when making buying decisions.

When making purchases—food, services, gift cards—make it known. Tag the businesses you’re supporting and @GastonOutside and use #GOSupportGaston.

And finally, we request you take part in our mini-blitz calendar of events as we all come together as a community to support those who help make our county unique.

April 3-5 mini-blitz: Top 3 Takeout

What are your top three favorite restaurants in Gaston? This weekend, pick one restaurant per day to order from or purchase a gift card for friends and family or to use later.

April 6-8 mini-blitz: Support Local for Free

There are plenty of ways to support local without spending a dime. If you’ve recently received a service, leave a review. Share posts of businesses and like their pages. There are tons of things you can do to support the community that is completely wallet-free.

April 8-10 mini-blitz: Top 3 Retail

Purchase from your three favorite local retail establishments (gift cards included).

April 10-12 mini-blitz: Try Something New

This shift of routine leaves plenty of opportunity to try new things, and what better way to do that than through the support of local businesses? Got a new restaurant you want to try? Maybe you’re looking to try a new craft or skill. We’ll give lots of ideas for how to branch out while you’re at home

April 15-17 mini-blitz: Christmas in April

Go ahead and mark some gifts off the list super early. You get the chance to be way ahead on your Christmas shopping this year while giving businesses the boost they need-- both online and (normally) brick-and-mortar shops.

April 22-24 mini-blitz: Services

Though many services may not apply to social distancing, you can use this time to rack up on gift cards for future services or even try some virtual services from life or business coaches.

April 24-26 mini-blitz: Main to Main

Lastly, wrap the month up by intentionally purchasing goods and services from a business in a neighboring town. We want the whole county to succeed and, with everyone’s help, we can make this happen together.

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