It’s been over a year since the pandemic began and the world is finally starting to open back up. As it does, struggling businesses and industries need our help in bringing them through this transitional time before we lose them forever. Grab your family and friends and get ready to show some support. The best part? You’ll have an amazing list of summer plans and you’ll be helping others the whole time - now that sounds like a great summer!

When it comes to purchases, think small - how can I help the stores around me stay in business? Chain and fast-food restaurants were able to safely navigate through the pandemic, but local dining establishments have still been suffering. Make a list of local restaurants, dessert spots, bakeries, and produce stands and opt for those places when you’re looking for a bite to eat. Is frequent eating out not in the budget? A simple and free way to help boost business is word of mouth. Positive Yelp, TripAdvisor, or Google reviews will help spread the word about these places for years to come.

Movie theaters have been hit extremely hard, especially with the rise of streaming services. While some movies are only released on streaming services, plan to attend the theatrical releases of new movies to help the movie theaters stay in business. A Quiet Place II, Cruella, and Black Widow are just a few of the major blockbusters hitting theaters this summer - and trust me, the viewing experience will be much better in theaters than on your couch.

Tired of seeing the inside of your home? It’s time to travel! The travel and tourism industries have suffered greatly through stay-at-home orders and travel bans - with the world opening back up, now’s the perfect time to plan that long-awaited family reunion and well-deserved vacation! The airline and hotel industries are not the only ones struggling from lack of tourists. For many popular vacation spots, the tourism industry stretches far beyond the obvious hotels and gift shops - restaurants, local attractions, and tours employ many of the local residents. While you’re visiting a new city, venture out to the local eateries, do the walking tour, visit the museums, and buy local crafts.

Other activities such as concerts, sporting events, and theatrical productions will also be starting up again - after a year with only screen entertainment, these activities will be more enjoyable than ever so grab your tickets now! Looking for activities for your little ones? Buy a membership to the local aquarium, zoo, or amusement park; many attractions are currently running special deals to boost attendance, so it’s a win-win!

If we don’t offer our help now, these places may not be able to survive. While your monetary support is essential, it’s not the only type of support needed. After a year like 2020, we need kindness and positive human interaction now more than ever. You can show emotional support by talking to everyone you meet- smile, make eye contact and ask how people are doing. Genuinely listen to them, wish them a good day, and send some positive vibes their way. Let’s show our support this summer - for our friends, families, neighbours, and strangers alike.