with Mandy Garland, FirstBank
It’s summertime in Tennessee! Things are finally beginning to open again, and businesses are in the process of getting back on their feet. This means, now, more than ever, we need to support our local businesses and nonprofits. Making time for what’s close to your heart makes life richer and our communities better. Giving back where we live, and work is the essential thread of a community. Here are several ways to continue to help our neighbors.
If you plan to eat out one night during the week, consider a local establishment, or consider planning a food truck night in your neighborhood. Not only do these ideas help the business, but who doesn’t want a night off from cooking for the family?
When you do eat at a restaurant, consider tipping a little more. Many of these people have remained on the front line during the last year. Because restaurants were at limited or no capacity, our friends in the restaurant business might need some love.
Buy a gift card. I love giving and getting gift cards. It allows me to plan when it’s most convenient for me to visit my favorite store or restaurant. It’s easy on the giver and allows the giftee to have some say in what is purchased.
Be a brand champion. When you are scrolling social media, try to follow and share the posts of companies you want to support. Word-of-mouth is great free advertising for the businesses in your community. This will hopefully encourage your social media connections to do the same.
Volunteer – now more than ever! Sitting on the sidelines was painful as you read about community struggles during the pandemic. Helping others can help you feel better too! Many community groups that provide services for the homeless, disabled and elderly are always looking for help. Find a cause you’re passionate about and get involved.
I hope you will consider going local this summer. Grab some Ellie’s Old-Fashioned Doughnuts at the Five Points Franklin Market on Tuesdays or take a trip to the new Duck Donuts in Brentwood (or as my kids would suggest, try both!). Williamson County is special because of our close-knit community and our willingness to be good neighbors. Let’s continue to do everything we can to keep it that way.
Mandy Garland serves as Senior Vice President, Middle Tennessee Regional Marketing Coordinator for FirstBank.