Staying safe right now is the most important concern, but local businesses are suffering and there are plenty of things we can do right now that will keep us safe while also supporting your local business owner. Once everything passes, we will want to make sure they are still in business. Jennifer Hensley with the Downtown Boise Association gave some great tips on helping local business, and we thought we’d put together a list of our own.

Here are some tips for supporting your local business owners:

Shop Online

It’s 2020, and that means plenty of businesses are set up to accept orders online Whether this is a restaurant, clothing store, or even local farmers, you can still order the things you’d normally buy from them at their store.

With the delay of the Capitol City Farmer’s Market, many local farmers and craftsmen will be missing out on a large part of their season. Look at their websites or give them a call to to see what you need (or just things you want — that is OK too) that will help them in this time.

Keep Planning

Local travel agents, hotels, and others in the travel or hospitality industries are losing their incomes right now because of canceled bookings and a lack of new bookings, all related to the unknowns right now.

Booking your 2021 or 2022 travel will help these industries keep afloat for now. Also, look for things you can buy for upcoming birthdays, holidays, or other events.

Shop During “Off” Hours

Depending on the level of “social distancing” that is recommended, you can consider shopping at your favorite stores during the hours other people are not there. Go during the workday or late at night.

If you are following all other precautions to keep yourself safe, like washing your hands, then shopping at your favorite store or shop while other people are not there is another great option.

Gift Cards

Gift cards are a great way to help out local businesses, even if you do not need their product right now. Gift certificates to restaurants, farmer’s markets, local clothing stores, and even sports events can help those businesses. Consider purchasing your 2020-21 Bogus Basin pass, your 2020-21 Idaho Steelheads season pass, and even begin doing some of your 2020 Christmas shopping.

Hensley also reminds us that purchasing gift certificates to local cultural institutions as well. As we begin to distance ourselves from our normal activities, these institutions will begin to miss their guests.

Here is a list of local Boise museums and other institutions, and many of them offer gift certificates.

Continue “Eating Out”

Even if you are social distancing yourself from restaurants, takeout or delivery is still a great option.

Restaurant workers are not going to fare well if sent home, and we have so many amazing local restaurants we’d like to see make it through this crisis. If a restaurant does not have their own delivery drivers, GrubHub or UberEats will help bring the food to you.


While Amazon seems like a great option right now, keeping our local businesses alive should be a priority. There are a lot of things you can do to help the cause right now.

“Our community health as a whole depends on working together, and our small businesses are the lifeblood of the Downtown Boise economy,” Hensley said.