AMHERST- Amidst the chaos of the constantly evolving coronavirus, online stores along with delivery and curbside pickup are now a reality for many local businesses that are trying to survive this pressing time. We should all do our best to support them.
Why? Because they truly need us right now. Small businesses are struggling to stay open, because it is not allowed to have more than 10 people in a confined space, and most of them are just trying to do their part in keeping us safe and healthy. However, they’re losing money in the process, and the stakes of losing some of our local favorites are higher than they have been in many years.
While I’ve found myself social distancing with more time to practice the hobbies I often don’t have time for, I’ve also found myself on Instagram more often – and for once, I don’t find that to be a bad thing. All over social media, I see local businesses reaching out to their followers, sharing their new ways of doing business and receiving an outpouring of support.
What is important to remember is, if you don’t have money to spend right now, even a follow and a repost can help them stay afloat. Let them know you care.
I realize that our UMass Amherst community is now spread out across the world. I now live at home, around Worcester, MA, with my parents and sister once again. These are my favorite local businesses here–please feel free to share yours with me on Instagram: @elisabethmorgan
Seed to Stem- Worcester, MA
For those of you who haven’t been to this enchanting lifestyle and plant boutique, a quick follow of their Instagram can bring you there virtually. They have everything from plants to home decor to jewelry, and now they have Good Vibes Packages which are filled with an assortment of different items from around the store!
Typically, Seed to Stem is bustling with life and love on Green St. in Worcester, MA. Customers are attracted to the wonderland-like shop which is overflowing with healthy plants, similar to a botanical garden, and other visually pleasing items. According to the about section on their website, they were established in 2011 and were, “born out of a life-long love for nature, finely crafted goods, found objects, antiques, creating, and of course, plants. The owners want to encourage people to create spaces within the home that mirror elements of nature and re-think how their own dwelling can connect to the natural world.”
Right now, I have a necklace and a few plants in my cart and I can’t wait to buy them.
Anzio’s Brick Oven Pizza- Northborough, MA
My family and I, like many, love our pizza. Anzio’s Brick Oven Pizza used to be just down the street from my home, and that’s where we fell in love with this cozy pizza joint. It’s also why we didn’t mind when they changed locations from Grafton to Northborough.
Last night we decided it was essential we order takeout from Anzios because we knew we had to support them through this tough time. Luckily for me, they make an awesome vegan pizza, and as always, it was fantastic.
Today I noticed while driving back home, that they had set up a shop outside Swirls and Scoops (a famous ice cream stand where I’m from, they’re sadly not open yet) on a busy street. I haven’t yet seen this approach done, so I have to give them a shout out for creativity.
North Moon Tattoo- Millbury, MA
Full transparency: I’m biased when it comes to this tattoo shop. The owner of this beautiful business, Zafera, has done nearly all of my tattoos. But even if you’re not a huge tattoo person, their art and message to their community is wholesome and stunning.
Right now, the shop is closed down to keep everyone safe, but a follow and a mention always keeps their shop booming! Zafera and her sister Toula, who helps run the shop and is also a tattoo artist herself, love hearing from and interacting with their followers.
In times like these, it’s of the utmost importance to support one another, and in that way, we stay connected. Your favorite local business owners and businesses need you right now, even if all you can do is comment on one of their posts showing your support. Stay safe everyone, and remember to hold up those in your community.
Email Elisabeth Morgan at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @lizziewmorgan.