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How to Support Local Businesses in Elizabeth Right Now

Runs to Target and big-box stores may be part of a well-rounded lifestyle, but so are the local businesses that make up the fabric of our community. Now more than ever, it’s so important to shop local—order food from Elizabeth, NJ restaurants, or buy produce from the farmer’s market. However you do it, remember it’s the family-owned businesses that breathe life into our historic town and make Elizabeth a special place to call home.

You can support local businesses from the comfort of your couch unless you have a bad case of cabin fever, then you’ve got options too. There’s a growing number of restaurants, hair salons and barbershops, and attractions opening their doors again with capacity limits and social distancing rules. Here are some of the ways you can safely show up for your community this summer—car optional.

Takeout or Dine-In

This one is obvious. One of the best ways you can support local restaurants is by ordering from them. Plenty of restaurants are offering curbside pick-up and delivery if you want to enjoy a night in. While indoor dining won’t resume until July 2, the City of Elizabeth released a list of all local restaurants currently offering outdoor dining, including Don Felix Bar and Restaurant, Valenca Restaurant, and Parador Rojo.

If you plan on eating out al fresco, reservations are encouraged as seating is limited. Dining out can still be fun even with social distancing rules in place, and it’s also a great way to support your favorite restaurants. And don’t forget to tip! Waiters have been out of work for months, so anything extra will be appreciated.

Leave a Good Review

After dining out on good food or getting a killer haircut, take a minute or two to leave a positive review on sites like Yelp or Birdeye. Think of it as helping out your fellow neighbor and spreading the word. Local businesses sure do appreciate it!

Elizabethan brunch spot Urban Griddle regularly shares customer reviews on its Facebook page. “Grrreeeaaatt fooooooood!!!” one reviewer said. Another wrote: “Quaint place with some of the best breakfast ever. Creative with breakfast bowls and [a] variety of coffee and tea-based drinks. Always a wait but always worth it.” Words go a long way!

Shop Local

If you like good ol’ home cooking, shop for local produce at your neighborhood farmers market instead of a big-box grocery store. Every Tuesday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., Alstede Farms is open for business, now through Nov. 24, at Union Square Plaza on Elizabeth Avenue. Keep in mind, all shoppers must wear masks and social distancing rules apply. Happy shopping!

Check out the Greater Elizabeth Chamber of Commerce for more information on shopping local, or to sign up to become a member if you’re a local business owner.

Buy Tickets for Future Events

Plans can give you something to look forward to, especially if your family is running out of fun, indoor activities to do. Over at the Liberty Hall Museum, Elizabeth’s famous Victorian mansion, tickets are currently being sold for family-friendly events in July. The museum officially opens for complimentary guided tours on July 9. Reserve your spot today. Keep in mind, many attractions, including Boxwood Hall State Historic Site, remain closed to visitors until further notice.

Tag Your Favorite Spot

If you visit the farmers market or eat out at your favorite pizza place this weekend, chances are you’ll probably take an album-worthy amount of food photos. Share them on your preferred social media platform, and don’t forget to tag the business. In doing so, you’re providing free advertisement for the business by letting your friends and followers in on a place they might not have heard of or didn’t know reopened

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