March 26th, 2020

6 Ways to Support McMinnville Businesses Right Now

There’s no denying that life feels pretty weird right now.  Social distancing, while necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19, has seemingly transported us into some sort of parallel universe.  Suddenly, visions of a post-apocalyptic world begin to dance in our heads as we count out four squares of toilet paper and watch YouTube videos on how to install bidets.

Ok, so things really aren’t so bad.  Grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and even some retail stores are still there for us.  And some folks are even fortunate enough to be able to continue working from home. However, Oregon’s restaurants and bars are restricted to carry-out and delivery only, with no on-site consumption permitted. Additionally, all public gatherings of more than 25 people have been banned statewide through mid-April at the very least.  This “new normal for now” has left many service and hospitality workers, artists, musicians, and business owners (just to mention a few) with fear and uncertainty.

New normal…for now: McMinnville’s Award Winning Main Street

Eventually, we will come out on the other end of this ordeal.  But this knowledge doesn’t make the stressors experienced by local businesses and their employees any less challenging in the current moment.  The perception that the whole world has come to a screeching halt is inaccurate. To varying degrees, we all continue to be consumers and in being so, we all wield the power to help ease the strain and uncertainty many of our businesses and community members are experiencing right now.  The only action needed is to check off a few items on this to-do list!

  1. Order Takeout: Just because Pura Vida can’t serve us delicious food within their colorful, homey atmosphere doesn’t mean you can’t have their Chile Relleno to-go.  They offer delivery (free in McMinnville with $30 minimum) and pick-up. Mac Market is making up meal kits Thursday-Saturday, and they even have opened up a drive-thru to make the process contact-free. Other restaurants that offer to-go options include Pizza Capo, Geraldi’s, Red Fox Bakery and Golden Valley Brewery.  This is not an exhaustive list, so if you’ve got a craving, be sure to call your favorite restaurant to see if they are still cooking for you.
  2. Quench Your Thirst: We all have our drink(s) of choice.  In McMinnville, coffee, smoothies, beer, cider and wine are all available for delivery or pick-up.  If you’re looking for a fruit and veggie boost, order a fresh smoothie or juice from Local Flow Health Bar.  Popular coffee options include Union Block Coffee House and Gold Rush Coffee Co.  The vast majority of Willamette Valley wineries are offering porch deliveries and/or shipping.  Just give them a call or visit their websites to place your order. Beer and ciders are also available for pick-up and in some cases, delivery.  Check out Growlers Tap Station for cider and beer or contact Bierly Brewing and discover which days they’ll deliver their gluten-free beers to your door.
  3. Buy Gift Cards: Looking for a gift that can pull double duty?  Your loved one will be grateful to receive a local gift card, and the business that you purchase the gift card from will get a much needed and appreciated infusion of revenue.  Most local businesses offer gift cards or certificates, and many of them are offering them online. Call your favorite businesses to see if they offer this option. The McMinnville Downtown Association offers gift cards that can be spent at many local businesses.  The only caveat is that the money you spent to buy the gift card sits in a holding account until the gift card is used at a business, so if you want it to do some good, use it right away.
  4. Shop Online:  And we’re not talking about Amazon.  Many of McMinnville’s local brick-and-mortar shops also have online stores as well! Third Street Books offers print and e-books.  You can also switch from Audible to where a portion of your monthly subscription goes to your local bookstore!  Other local shops with an online presence include Merri Artist, Cupcake Couture, Incahoots, New To You, and Third Street Oil and Vinegar.  Google your favorite shops to see if they have an online store.
  5. Take Part in Virtual Experiences:  Local businesses are getting creative about how they interact with their customers.  Destress with Boho Yoga during a free meditation and/or yoga class each morning on Instagram at 10am.  Grab your kiddo and join story time with Third Street Books on Facebook Live.  Enjoy a Facetime shopping trip and curbside pick-up with Hopscotch Toys.  Cancel your Stitch Fix deliveries and let Mes Amies do your personal shopping for you.  Catch Accessory Appeal and Found Objects showcasing their products on their Facebook and Instagram channels, and all you have to do is call, pay over the phone, and pick-up your goodies curbside.  Keep an eye on local businesses’ social media channels because new ideas and opportunities have been popping up every day.
  6. Donate:  Another way to support our community is by donating your dollars to local non-profits.  Yamhill Community Action Partnership (YCAP) is a local non-profit that assists families in need to get back on the path to self-sufficiency.  With the windfall of people being laid off in the last couple of weeks, YCAP will no doubt be operating at a much higher demand.  Additionally, organizations that serve domestic abuse victims are expecting a rise in calls in the coming weeks, as victims spend much more time at home with their abusers, so consider donating to Juliette’s House or The Henderson House.  Finally, with the inability to present concerts, live theater, art shows, etc., arts organizations are also taking a huge hit right now.  Perhaps make a donation to Arts Alliance of Yamhill County or McMinnville’s own Gallery Theater.

Whether you check off a couple items on this list, or all of them, you are making a difference.  Encourage your neighbors and friends to do the same. Before you know it, the ripple effect that you start will become the tidal wave that sustains the businesses in this community that we so love.  

About the Author: Jamie Corff is the Marketing Coordinator for Visit McMinnville. It’s common to find her enjoying the arts in the form of theater, music, and the written word. She is also a passionate cheerleader for her beloved Downtown McMinnville and the people and businesses that are integral to its vibrancy.