Many service workers rely significantly on tips as an income source and will be among the most financially impacted during times of social distancing and self-quarantine due to COVID-19. To help lessen the burden these industry workers face, consider pre-tipping.
If their PayPal, Venmo, Zelle or CashApp links have been made available, tip them something small such as $5, $10 or $20 - whatever you’re comfortable with. A small pre-tip can help others stay afloat, pay their bills or buy groceries and necessities during these difficult times.
Here are a few examples of small business owners, entrepreneurs, service workers or other trade workers who you may want to consider pre-tipping:
Hair stylists, manicurists, estheticians, massage therapists and other cosmetologists
Their income depends on people making and keeping appointments, paying service fees and tips. They must be in close contact with their clientele, often in a small room, with skin-to-skin contact.
Their income relies on appointment down payments, hourly session fees and tips. Their work requires them to be in close contact with people, which has the potential to spread COVID-19 from client to client.
Food servers, bartenders and delivery drivers
Many waiters, waitresses, delivery drivers and busboys rely on tips as their primary source of income. With the recent mandated closure of several of these establishments in many areas, these workers may have no immediate source of income.
Creative business owners and artists
As people become financially challenged, disposable income may prevent them from buying luxuries such as artwork. Many events like art fairs, conventions, street markets, art exhibits and festivals are being postponed or cancelled due to social distancing. Painters, jewelry makers, potters and more will not have this source of income to take care of their basic needs. Consider purchasing their work online or commissioning a piece. Even a small tip on a past purchased product could help during this challenging time.
Another option aside from tipping is to purchase a gift card if available. Many businesses offer gift cards or vouchers to use on one of their services. If this an option, consider supporting your favorite small business or entrepreneur with a gift card you can use at a later time.
If you’re unable to pre-tip or purchase a gift card, you can use the power of social media to promote their business and/or post positive reviews. Remind people that your favorite tattoo artist or hair stylist is incredibly talented, or that your favorite Etsy shop makes the cutest earrings.
Practicing compassion as part of a larger community by supporting these small businesses and workers can help ease the feelings of uncertainty the entire country is facing.
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