Gov. Walz yesterday declared that all public Minnesota schools would be closed by Wednesday this week due to Coronavirus/COVID-19. The sudden cancelation of schools statewide may cause area businesses to adjust their hours as the need for childcare rises. Businesses like movie theaters, bars, restaurants, even grocery stores are currently open for business. But what happens if Minnesota goes the way of Illinois and California, where the decision is made to close some of those businesses to reduce the spread, what happens then? You can help support local businesses by doing this one easy thing the next time you are in. Buy a gift card.

It's cash for those businesses now to help with the day to day operations, and you can spend it later at the store when things calm down. A few of our friends have already begun to stop into local stores and purchase gift cards or certificates for use later on, as they don't need certain goods right now, but will need them down the road.

Out of the 300 million small and local businesses in the U.S., most survive on consistent sales being that profit margins are usually very small, and an economic selloff such as current could tank a company, according to Life Hacker.

You might not even have to go to the store to purchase the gift card or certificate as, one-third of all American small businesses plan to or have invested in e-commerce this year according to Visual Trends.

Ok I'll step off my soapbox for now.

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