Coronavirus is spreading, and our local Northern Colorado communities are taking action to prevent any further exposure. While the self-quarantines are important, they're also taking a toll on our local businesses.

Ever since public gatherings have been banned and dine-in eating and drinking has been prohibited, our favorite local eateries and businesses are, how can we help?

It's easier than you think. Here are 5 ways to help your favorite local businesses.

1. Buy a gift card for when this all blows over

When all of this is over, treat yourself to a movie, a great meal, or a haircut. Call your favorite local business right now or visit their website to purchase a gift card, which will help them stay in business. For example, you can buy a gift card to The Lyric Cinema in Fort Collins right here: I did, and it only took me five minutes.

2. Order delivery or take-out from your favorite restaurant

Stop panic-buying those canned goods and grab some tacos instead: it could be the difference between closing up shop and staying open for some local restaurants. NoCo Nosh is a locally-owned delivery service that offers no-contact delivery for Fort Collins and Northern Colorado; Windsor features coffee shops like Windsor Lake Coffee that are offering to-go and curbside pickup (below); and there's also a list of restaurants on the Greeley Tribune that have specific takeaway instructions, which you can read right here.

3. Buy merch!

Several restaurants and businesses sell merch, like t-shirts, hats, coozies, and more. Consider grabbing something that you can later wear into the establishment when you finally get to visit it again. Head to your local brewery's website to buy logo t-shirts and more: for example, here's Odell Brewing Company's merch page.

4. Donate to your favorite business

Make sure you check in with your favorite businesses on social media to see if they are offering ways to donate. Some venues, such as The Moxi Theater in Greeley, are still "selling" tickets to shows that they're live streaming so that you can continue to support live music in the community. Here's the Moxi's ticket page.

5. Consider still tipping or paying for a cancelled service

Shelby, from our sister station 94.3 The X, decided to cancel her hair and lash appointments this week because of the virus, but knowing that those businesses would suffer, she decided to pay anyway.

"I have known my hairstylist for years and know that she has a family to support during this time, and while I didn't feel comfortable going to my appointment, I knew that once this has all passed, I will be going to see her, so I decided to still pay for my future appointment."

Know of another way we can help? Tell us in the comments!

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