Opinion: Let’s come together to support our business community in Berkeley

Buy local. Get coffee from your favorite coffee shop. Commemorate special occasions with flowers from the neighborhood florist. Encourage your children to buy goods that are manufactured locally.

COVID-19 continues to spread and is already having a tangible economic impact on our city. While mass community gatherings, cohort education, and co-working in close proximity are being limited, Berkeley residents’ collaboration and collective action to support our business community should not.

Berkeley businesses need our support now more than ever.

Get your morning boost from local coffee shops. Purchase essential goods from the store on the corner. Communicate your love for those who are sick or lonely with cards from the local bookshop. Patronize the local pharmacy for vitamins and cold medicine. Commemorate special occasions with flowers from the neighborhood florist. Encourage your children to buy goods that are manufactured locally. Buy gift certificates from indie retailers, worker-owned co-operatives, or the local branch of corporations in the industries that are being most severely impacted, e.g. hotels, restaurants, theaters, and gyms. And when you eat out at a local restaurant, whether that be now or in the future, add a cocktail to your order if your budget affords.

Let’s all be cognizant that dollars spent at neighborhood stores make a huge difference in creating local jobs and local wealth. I hope we will.

Elizabeth Redman Cleveland is a resident of Berkeley.