If you’re like us, it’s hard to sit on the sidelines these days without wanting to contribute and find ways to make a difference (beyond staying at home!) for the special places you love. From our new kids on the block to our iconic long-time businesses, our locally-owned business community needs your support now more than ever. Whether you’re a community resident, a former alumni or a future visitor, we encourage you to help us in supporting those that make our community truly special while still practicing safe social-distancing. 

1. Purchase a gift card

Gift cards are an easy and convenient way to support your local restaurant or shop. Not only are you making a purchase that supports them now, you’re also letting your favorite know you’ll be back to visit in the future! Gift cards are also a great way to spread the love to your friends, family, and coworkers and remind them that they’re thought about and valued. Gift cards don’t have to be purchased in person either! Most businesses have online shops that are selling virtual gift cards. Some of our local retail favorites that are letting you purchase gift cards online are: Firefly, French Vill’edge, Market Collective, Oconee Outfitters, Southern Roots, and Spirit Wear. The list of local restaurants that have online gift cards available for purchase is even longer! They include: Amici’s, Aubri Lane’s, Barberitos, Blackbird Coffee, Bollywood TacosMetropolis, and Smoothie King

2. Order Curbside Service

Social distancing is important to maintain, but you can still pick up your favorite products, try some new ones, or grab food to-go while still staying safe. Some retail locations are allowing customers to place orders by phone or online to then pick up with minimum contact. Artistry Salon, Chandler Brothers ACE Hardware, HairBar, Willow Floral & Events Studio, and T-Bone’s Plant Nursery are all offering these services! Retail locations aren’t the only ones using minimum contact methods. Restaurants all around town have online/phone ordering and curbside pick-up. The list of places offering this is long and includes: Aubri Lane’sBollywood Tacos, The Brick, Cravings, Doodle’s Cupcakery, Georgia Bob’s and more. For a full, updated list of all restaurants offering their services, CLICK HERE. You can also order your favorite meals to be delivered to your home with Door Dash or KNG delivery. While you’re ordering dinner tonight, think about picking up a meal for an elderly neighbor, family member, or friend who can’t venture out for themselves. 

3. Shop online

Now is the perfect time to do some online shopping. Maybe you want to experiment with your style, change up your home decor, or purchase that must-have you’ve been eyeing. You can shop the online stores of several downtown favorites like Artistry Salon, Firefly, Market Collective, Oconee Outfitters, Southern Roots, Eclectic and more! Firefly will even join you on Facetime to select your clothes and delivery locally! Order gifts for family and friends too and spread happiness around town. The Milledgeville-Baldwin Chamber of Commerce is selling a #OneMilly t-shirt, $10 of every t-shirt sold will help support a small business in Baldwin County. Buffington’s and The Baron Press have teamed up to print and mail shirts directly to their customers. $10 from each shirt will be donated to Buffington’s to help during this uncertain time. And if you are missing your favorite cup of joe, Blackbird Coffee now ships! 

4. Share on social media

Even if you can’t support your favorite business in person, you can show them love online! Leave positive reviews, use hashtags, tag them in photos, and encourage your friends to do the same. Just a little bit of positive energy goes a long way and can help business in the long run. We all need to show a little bit of love to everyone in our lives right now, and our local Milledgeville businesses are no exception.