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Support Local: How to Help Charlotte Businesses

In these rapidly evolving times, locally owned and hospitality-centric businesses often get hit the hardest.

This includes small business owners, restauranteurs, service industry workers and countless others, most of whom rely on the business of both visitors and locals. Now more than ever, your help could provide relief to these individuals during an especially difficult time.

Many Charlotteans have jumped in to create initiatives that champion these amazing local businesses in addition to organizations that are striving to lift up our residents in innovative ways. Support Local or Else created by Corri Smith and Garrett Tichy is actively collecting businesses who are feeling the extreme impacts with ways you can help. In addition, Charlotte Agenda has produced a round-up of resources on ways to help locals in need in partnership with the CRVA.

Here are some additional resources on how to help and also weather the storm yourself while investing in the economic health and well-being of the Charlotte community.

Chef Alyssa from Chef Alyssa's Kitchen

Order Take-Out (and Tip Well)

On March 17 at 5 p.m., Governor Roy Cooper required the closure of all restaurant dining rooms. However, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy some of your favorite meals from the comfort of your own home. Many restaurants are offering both delivery and take out options, which means you can still support your favorite local spot while staying healthy.

Zeppelin in South End is offering a delicious menu of boxed meals that you can take home to enjoy. They're also offering $20 off for each $100 gift card purchased so you can help share the love with friends and family. Ginbu 401 in Myers Park offers both take-out and delivery for when you're in the mood for some fresh sushi. They also offer traditional Chinese food dishes like lo mein and orange chicken. More in the mood for pizza? Check out Intermezzo in Plaza Midwood for scratch-made pizza and pasta; make sure to ask for a side of their house-made balsamic sauce.

For anyone eating gluten-free, Chef Hannah offers gluten free, to-go curbside pickup meals that you can order online. Take advantage of a healthy meal delivery from Nourish Charlotte, a local, organic, vegan kitchen. Choose from a variety of meal plans or a la carte options. Chef Alyssa's Kitchen has delicious meals for the whole family. Order tonight's dinner for pickup or delivery. Additionally, you can support by purchasing a gift card for a future cooking class!

300 East in Dilworth offers to-go meals for the whole family. Call ahead to place your order for curbside pickup. Plus, they're giving you 20% off on the purchase of any bottle of wine that's part of your to-go order. If you're thinking about some good, ol' fashion BBQ, give Sweet Lew's BBQ a call. They even deliver through DoorDash and Postmates, so supporting local has never been easier (or more delicious). Be sure to check out non-contact delivery options from Postmates and DoorDash. Additionally, Uber Eats is offering free delivery from local restaurants; check out more details here.

Remember to tip even when you pick up your take out order! If you're able to, tip a little extra more than you normally would. That extra dollar or two can add up and make a big difference to the hard-working restaurant staff.

View our list of restaurants currently offering pickup and delivery services:
Pitch In. Take Out.

Rhino Market

Buy Gift Cards Now to Enjoy Later

Another easy way to immediately inject some cash into your favorite local store is to purchase gift cards. You can give your favorite stores and restaurants a vote of confidence with a quick $25 gift card purchase. Shops like Girl Tribe, Uptown Cheapskate Charlotte, Zabs Place, and Rhino Market will appreciate your support.

Traditional brick and mortar stores aren't the only businesses offering gift cards. Tours and experiences like Funny Bus, FEAST Food Tours and Taste Gourmet Food Tours are all offering gift cards so you and the whole family can have something to look forward to once things return to normal.

Girl Tribe

Stock Up on Entertainment

There's only so many times we can watch the same movies and TV shows over and over again (when we're not working from home) before boredom sets back in. Order books and puzzles online from Park Road Books. The book store is taking online orders and shipping them straight to your home. Find puzzles and other activity books to keep kids of all ages busy; some spots even offer movie and TV show downloads! If you need to pick up a coloring book or two for yourself, we won't judge.

To help keep kids entertained, Atrium Health Levine Children's is hosting an online show through their Facebook every day at 11 a.m. From science experiments, to music therapy, to virtual bingo, and everything in between, they will host daily KidTime sessions from Seacrest Studios for your child (and you!) to watch live.

Take advantage of the extra time at home and learn a new skill. Sweet Spot Studio aims to curb cravings of bakers and wannabe-bakers all over Charlotte. Whether you're a pro or you've never measured a cup of flour before, register for an online class and get baking. SkillPop Charlotte re-branded to SkillPop Anywhere, shifting from in-person classes to online learning. With a large array of subjects like podcasting essentials, beginner embroidery, houseplant care and more, there's bound to be something new and fun for you to learn.

It's too easy to stay on the couch in your pajamas clicking through Netflix, but just because gyms are closed doesn't mean you can't break a sweat. In fact, sticking with your workout routine is a fantastic way to boost your immune system. Thanks to modern technology, there are multiple Charlotte studios offering online classes either free with membership or they offer a free trial. Arrichion Hot Yoga & Circuit Training has virtual yoga and HIIT classes through ZOOM. Fit Atelier will get you moving with their dance cardio and circuit-training virtual classes. Charlotte-based Hilliard Studio Method has a streaming service so you can participate in one of their signature high-energy, low-impact pilates classes.

Paper Skyscraper

Give Blood

While most of us have the COVID-19 virus on our minds, doctors, nurses and first responders are still treating patients for other ailments. Blood donations are at a critical low as many blood drives across the country have been cancelled due to concerns over COVID-19. Donations are used for blood transfusions and to help treat people for anemia, cancer, blood disorders and more. You can help by reaching out to your local blood center or by scheduling an appointment to give blood with the Red Cross. Visit RedCrossBlood.org to learn more about how you can make a difference.

Donate, Donate, Donate

It seems simple, but it's worth repeating. If you're able, donate to local businesses who are giving back to the community. For example, The Loyalist Market, along with over a dozen other businesses, are teaming up to provide 3,000 lunches to Charlotte-area youth through the end of this month. They’ve set up a GoFund me page for those who’d like to support. Donating financially to food banks is one of the easiest and most effective ways you can help others in need. Help provide groceries and food to families in need by donating to Loaves & Fishes or Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. Roots Cafe partnered with Feeding Charlotte to help provide Charlotte with 5,000 pounds of food. Learn the details here to help.

Foundation for the Carolinas in partnership with United Way of Central Carolinas have set up a COVID-19 relief fund to support Charlotte-Mecklenburg community members impacted by coronavirus. Donate what you can here to help with the evolving and emerging needs of our neighbors.

Additionally, did the event you were hoping to attend get rescheduled or cancelled? Local arts and theater organizations are often hit hard during these uncertain times. Donate to the organization, artists, or groups that were scheduled to attend. Support artists and other entertainers by donating to Theatre Charlotte, the Actor's Theatre of Charlotte and Arts & Science Council of Charlotte.

It's not just your fellow humans that need your help. The living history farm at Historic Latta Plantation is a 24/7 operation and a donation as small as $10 provides one week of food for a new lamb. Donate to support their farm here.

We will continue to update this page in the coming days. If you have additional resources or information you'd like to share, email partnership@crva.com.

More COVID-19 Resources