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Ways to shop small on the Eastside

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As a second wave of tightened restrictions goes into affect, Bellevue has created a list of tips that any Eastside resident can use to support small businesses.

“We must do what we can to ensure our local business owners, who have worked so hard already to weather the pandemic, have a fighting chance to make it through another round of restrictions,” Bellevue Mayor Lynne Robinson stated in a press release. “If we each commit to following public health guidelines while intentionally supporting local businesses wherever and however we can, our community will emerge sooner and stronger together.”

Many of the tips are minor, but can result in meaningful support to small businesses.

  • Shop locally online from the many local establishments equipped with a web store. Many retail locations offer curbside pickup or private store appointments, which still are allowed within the current restrictions.
  • Utilize curbside pick-up or delivery from local restaurants. While indoor dine-in service is restricted, take-out is available. The What’s Open Eastside online map shows which restaurants are open and their service options.
  • Embrace the season and dine outdoors. While indoor dining is restricted, outdoor dining is allowed (limited to a maximum of five people per table) and many restaurants have expanded outdoor dining areas or made their outdoor spaces more comfortable for year-round service. Call ahead to understand availability and amenities.
  • Get (and give) gift cards. Purchasing gift cards now for post-COVID-19 outings gives local shops, attractions and restaurants a boost when they need it most. Gift cards are also an easy way to shop for the holidays and offer something to look forward to.
  • Keep physically active online. While fitness facilities and gyms are closed for indoor operations, many have online programming.
  • Share your favorites. Sharing positive business experiences and products helps spread the word about local businesses, especially small shops, and can help businesses establish a following that will continue beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • For Bellevue residents wanting to support downtown, special business features are also available through the Bellevue Downtown Association’s Heart of Bellevue website.

The governor’s latest restrictions are in place until at least Dec. 14.

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