Seven Ways to Support Small Businesses

Motorcycle passing a building in downtown Conway, Arkansas

Shops and restaurants in Downtown Conway are taking extensive, diligent measures to provide a clean, safe and welcoming environment for customers. Downtown businesses remain open, and continue to provide a positive, safe and welcoming experience.

Nevertheless, the COVID-19 public health crisis poses incredibly difficult financial challenges to Downtown stores, services and restaurants all of which are locally owned and operated. Even just a few weeks of diminished patronage can be devastating.

We encourage everyone to follow the guidelines of public health officials at the local, state and national level, and high-risk populations especially should exercise caution. If you choose to limit your exposure temporarily, here are a few meaningful ways you can still #shoplocal and help some of your favorite Downtown businesses during this challenging time.


As a promise to return to support them, purchase gift cards to your favorite local shops and restaurants. This puts money in the pocket of your favorite store-owner today to help them cover operating expenses.


Many Downtown retailers have online shops. Use this time to check out their online offerings. Several businesses are offering discounts and/or free shipping for those that show support for local during this time. *Reminder: Some shops that don’t offer online shopping are happy to take an order over the phone and have it delivered to you, so don’t hesitate to ask!


Dining from home more these days? Order delivery or takeout from almost any Downtown restaurant. If you choose to avoid the crowds, call ahead and pick up – many will even deliver to your car when you arrive! Delivery services such as OmniDelivery, Bite Squad or DoorDash servicing Downtown restaurants are also great options. Visit the #ConwayToGo hashtag on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to see the takeout and delivery options in Conway.


Have a steady paycheck? Leave a little extra cash for service workers – they especially are going to need the help. Consider a full tip on takeout orders, and leaving a little extra for the kitchen staff, too.


If you have reservations, don’t be a no-show. Restaurants plan for you to be there, and order food and staff accordingly. If you aren’t going to make it, please call ahead and let them know. If you are in a group of 10 or more, please be courteous and cancel your reservation per CDC guidelines. You can always order food to-go instead if the restaurant is offering this service. 


Spending more time online? Engage with your favorite Downtown businesses — leave a positive Google, Yelp, or Facebook review. Like, follow, comment and engage with them on social media. It’s free to you but it helps to remind businesses that they aren’t forgotten and this kind of social currency pays dividends of a different kind.


Did you have tickets to a show that was cancelled? Many cultural institutions are nonprofits, so instead of asking for a refund, consider making your ticket cost a donation to the organization. Also, many performances may be rescheduled in the future, so be sure to check emails and social media posts from that organization for updates.

Our community’s health depends on all of us working together, showing compassion and remaining strong. Our Downtown businesses are the heart and soul of our civic identity and a significant driver of our city’s economy. We at the Conway Downtown Partnership ask you to join us in ensuring the success and viability of our locally owned small businesses.

Conway Downtown Partnership