The constant influx of depressing news in the past couple of weeks has pervaded everyone’s life in every conceivable way. School, work and socialization have all gone to the wayside as everyone navigates this new territory together, leaving days more vacant than ever and minds brimming. This proves to be rather difficult. That is not to say, however, this cannot be an opportunity for people to take care of themselves and one another in their communities.
Much of the student body left last week due to the spread of COVID-19, leaving Madison idle. Many local businesses have felt an immediate threat to their well-being and profit margins, laying off employees and cutting hours for many service workers across Madison. Though Governor Tony Evers put plans in place to quell some of the losses for employees and employers, the deficit to small businesses will not be so easily compensated. Even with state sales tax relief, there is great concern surrounding making payroll and paying rent or mortgages in the coming months.
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Local restaurants and cafes serve a greater purpose than providing food — they are meeting points for smaller communities that form a greater whole within the city of Madison. They support themselves and house our days as students. Some contribute to business for local farms across the state of Wisconsin, which will see a similar detriment soon if their customers take such a profound loss. As people remain largely indoors while doing their part to flatten the curve in the U.S., there remains a call to support these institutions to further elevate the greater good.
Many local spots have formulated impromptu options for ordering take out and delivery online to avoid exchanges of cash and needless contact. Restaurants like Pasture and Plenty on Madison’s Near West Side are even offering take home frozen meals to be saved for the convenience of their customers. Contributing higher tips, despite the method through which you opt to deal with restaurants, is sure to help employees as well, as they trudge through weeks of fewer hours and furloughed work.
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One hope during a time of uncertainty and stagnancy is that communities will seek solutions to the fallout of COVID-19 and its effect on businesses. The methods through which citizens can aid their communities are convoluted at this time but worth the slight inconvenience. While many people are making less money, putting dollars toward the places that need it most is a priority if we are to avoid business closures across Madison. If that and staying away from large gatherings is all we can do for one another, then it must be done for as long as necessary.
If you are immunocompromised and cannot leave your home or wish to support businesses more remotely for now, you could opt for buying a gift card for later usage, once the Safer at Home Order eventually subsides. This practice can mitigate the loss in profit margins around the city.
Some local Madison restaurants participating in takeout and/or delivery at this time include —
- La Taguara, 3502 E Washington Ave.
- The Globe, 309 N Henry St.
- Taiwan Little Eats, 320 State St.
- Strings Ramen, 311 N Frances St.
- Short Stack Eatery, 301 W Johnson St.
- Indie Coffee, 1225 Regent St.
- Estacion Inka, 616 University Ave.
A comprehensive list of more restaurants and their availability can be found here.
Kelli Smith ([email protected]) is a junior majoring in psychology.