Seven ways you can help the economy during covid19

It feels like the economy is grinding to a halt and it’s affecting hourly and service workers the most. While serious macro economic stimulus packages will be needed to shock it back into action (and present their own opportunities for stimulating new — green/inclusive — economies), there are some things we* can be doing to minimise the direct economic impact of covid19 in our own communities.

*Target audience is the middle and upper classes with absorptive capacity during a crisis

Here are some ideas. What are yours?

  1. Keep doing your job to the best of your ability , where technology and health allows. This is the aspect of the economy that is directly in your control- keep it running if you can! If you can, work from home. Even teachers and chefs are doing it! Who knows — maybe you’ll create new markets or efficiencies that will be long lasting.

2. Pay it forward — SARB has cut the interest rates, and you might also be saving on travel costs or socialising costs. Use those little bits to tip the delivery guy more than usual, give your domestic worker a small bonus, or buying books or food online from your favourite local business (who are in turn supporting their favourite local farms).

3. Keep paying your domestic workers or other employees. Unless you’ve lost your own income (and also don’t have a good savings buffer for times like these) there’s no excuse to stop paying the lowest earning and most vulnerable members of society.

4. Consider helping a learner or student with airtime/data so that they can keep informed, and attend online classes or watch online lessons (not really a short term economic investment, but important nonetheless).

5. Don’t cancel, postpone. Rather than cancelling events, bookings, renovations or other products or services, consider postponing them and paying a small deposit to keep that service provider afloat until you need them. Businesses can use forward bookings to get emergency loans if needed and keep staff paid in the interim.

6. Order custom goods and services — small scale furniture makers, home based bakers, personal trainers and even comedians and poets can all still build you something or do a show or class online. Find a local artist and treat your kids or spouse (or a whole online group to make them a decent wage) to a lesson or show. There’s a whole group of film industry freelancers ready and at your service.

7. When we’re able to move around more freely again, travel locally to support the local tourism sector that has been hit hard. Planning hypothetical local trips or adventures is a great way to stay sane while at home, anyway, and then you can book them as soon as its safe to do so.

Here are some resources on the economic impact of covid19:

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