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Covid-19 is dangerous to Mainers, not just to our health, but to our livelihoods as well. So many people that work in places where customers would normally gather for a plate of food and a cold drink are being laid off.

There are some things we can all do to help struggling businesses and restaurants. First of all, delivery and curb-side pick ups are a real thing right now and even restaurants that don't usually do a big take-out business are putting it out there. Call your favorite restaurants to see if they are.

We've connected with our favorite places, here's what's happening with our family favorites:

  • DiPietro's in So. Po. is open 7 days a week from 9 to 9 and they offer curbside pick-up. Call ahead and Mike or Sam willl keep a look out for you. Order their Chicken Parm with an extra side of Sue's homemade sauce and a box of spaghetti for a wowzer homemade Italian dinner. We've served it to company, it's so good.
  • Uber Eats is delivering for free right now. We order Elevation Burger because I'm hooked on their thick chocolate ice cream shakes, and the delivery has always been super fast.
  • Another fam fave is Taj in South Portland, this is our big family date night spot. We miss seeing the staff but we are thrilled that we can still get Saag Paneer, Butter Chicken, Batura and Mango Lassis through 2 Dine In. Shout out to Sai :)
  • Chipotle is offering free delivery right now. When I have a bad day and don't feel like cooking, a chicken burrito with double corn salsa always hits the spot. They are a chain, but they are employing locals that need to pay their rent.
  • Even our pets are enjoying their favorite foods thanks to their Uncle Mike, (Mike Lake), from Port Grooming in South Portland. We pay Uncle Mike by credit card over the phone and he drops the bag of dog food off in our garage. We spoke on the phone for ten minutes when I called to order Verushka's dog food. Mike, his wife Rebecca and their grandson Lance even came to our house warming party.

All of these businesses and people are important not just to my family, but to our community. We know each other and it's heart warming to eat their food and know that it's helping to keep them afloat. I taste the love in every bite.

Here are some ways to help local businesses get through:

  • Buy gift cards that can be used at a later date. This is a great time to shop for Christmas and birthdays. You can get gift cards to just about any business right now, just ask.
  • Shop local businesses online. Your favorite brewery might be closed but you can buy their merch online and show your support.
  • It's cleaner to use a debit or credit card than to handle cash. I've been wiping down my plastic and keys with antibacterial wipes. The best way to avoid money related germs is to order online or over the phone.
  • Be patient. Businesses really need your support right now and they want to give you great service, but they are also operating with skeleton crews.
  • Say thank you and be kind to everyone who is still working; from nurses to stock clerks, toll takers to cashiers, no job is easy right now.
  • Write positive reviews on social media platforms. Not only will it make a business's day, but when tourists return and see the reviews it will drive more business their way.
  • Order in and tip more than you normally do if you can.