Some effects of the Great Recession still linger but many economists note the coronavirus effect will be much larger in scale and broader. Our most recent financial crisis was centered mainly on housing and the banking and automotive sectors. Today’s crisis will undoubtedly affect every single industry and some might not even exist by the time we emerge from this crisis. Small businesses will be especially hard hit. If your budget allows, consider these ways you can help now.

•Utilize delivery or curbside pickup services when possible. Several restaurants are offering special carry out deals too, including special family meals that make it more convenient and likely economical to feed a crowd with takeout.

•Offer to take turns with friends/family making trips to stores/retail locations to limit the number of times we each go out in public places. Offering this kind of help to someone who’s performing essential services right now would be especially good too.

•Purchase gift certificates now for items you know you’ll need in the future. Now would be an ideal time to buy a certificate to an area restaurant that had to close its doors as a practical birthday or anniversary present. Give these places a call and have them hold on to your purchase or put it in the mail. Same goes for gym memberships or classes at a fitness center. Consider prepaying for a future hair or nail appointment.

•Sign up for online giving, if possible, for the groups or charities you regularly support including your church, local food bank or other community organization.

•If you’ve bought tickets for an event and a refund was offered, consider declining the refund and give those funds back to the organization, if it’s a non-profit, and count it towards a tax-deductible donation.

•Share what you’re doing with friends and family to inspire others to do the same. The next time you’re on social media, relay what services you’re utilizing or what new menu item you ordered from a favorite restaurant.

There’s no doubt that the economy will face a steep climb out of the depths once the virus’s threat has passed. In the meantime, let’s do what we can to safely support local businesses.