There are many ways to help small businesses

Janice Lynn Crose
Crestview News Bulletin

As responsible consumers and citizens, now that small businesses are beginning to open up, how do we support them? We don't want to see any of our friends and neighbors lose their businesses, so now we need to patronize them.

Most, if not all of us, will need haircuts and new hair styles, so let's get out to our local barbers and hair stylists to take care of us. Don't wait. Do this as soon as the salons and shops open, as these people have been closed and need to pay their bills.

Does your car need maintenance? Please take it in. Mechanic businesses have been very slow these past few weeks and they also need to earn a living.

Many restaurants have had to close or only provide takeout business. Since restaurants are now only allowed a 25 percent capacity, make sure to call and make a reservation so you don't have to wait for hours. Perhaps you'd rather get your food to go and eat at home or on your patio. We can also buy gift cards for later use at our favorite restaurants, which helps with their cash flow.

Some of us may not have the funds to buy gift cards ahead, but perhaps can afford a to-go meal from a local eatery. We want our local businesses to survive and thrive.

Our purchases help our local economy. When you need to purchase something, try to buy it from a small business rather than a large chain, as many chains were allowed to stay open during the mandated closures.

Don't forget your house of worship. They also need support as their expenses are ongoing. There are still mortgages, salaries and utilities to pay.

Did you receive your stimulus check? Be aware that scammers are out in force looking to steal this money from you. They may call and say you were sent the money in error and ask for a refund.

This is a thief looking for your money! Hang up on them.

The best way to avoid phone scams is to ignore phone calls from phone numbers you don't recognize. If the person needs to speak with you, they will leave a message. Be vigilant about returning phone calls to banks, credit card companies and so forth. When you do, only use the phone number on your statement or your credit card to ensure you are really calling your financial institution.

The IRS won’t contact you by phone, email, text message, or social media with information about your stimulus payment, or to ask you for your Social Security Number, bank account, or government benefits debit card account number.

Anyone who does is a scammer phishing for your information, according to

Take care of yourselves and your families and may the Lord protect our small business owners.

Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.