Many times, during this exceptionally strange Coronavirus situation, you’ve probably heard (or even said) something like “When this is all over, we should really start supporting local businesses!”
How many times have you heard (or said) it in the last 50 days of lockdown?
Okay, well… now’s the time.
It’s May 4, and we’re finally opening up, a little bit.
This shit is (probably) far from over. But starting today, a lot of small businesses are able to start working again.
Now is the time to support them.
That’s the Ferretería Aubert in Born, now open for service at the door.
I know, I know…
It’s a tough time for everyone.
But if you’ve got a little extra money, please please PLEASE consider skipping the line outside the supermarket.
Because there’s probably a small “alimentación” shop one block down, possibly owned by an immigrant family, where there is no line, no other customers to cough on you, and prices only a little bit higher for your basic necessities.
(Pro tip: here in Barcelona, the Pakistani stores had toilet paper the whole time – three-meter-high stacks of it in many cases. While you were panicking about wiping your butt at Mercadona, you could have just gone and supported a small business with your two bucks, and your buttcheeks / significant other would be thanking you right now.)
Also, the municipal markets are open, and much less crowded than usual. Go in, get some exceptionally high quality fish, meat, vegetables, or whatever. And support local vendors, as well as farmers right down the street.
(All the eggs I buy at the Mercado de Barceloneta are ranked by how close to the market they’re laid. Choose your small town, and support a farmer.)
Some small businesses in Madrid and Barcelona you can support today
Here are a few ideas for how you can support small, local businesses in your area – especially if your area is in Madrid or Barcelona.
- Here, for example, I’ve got a relocation service. The owner, Julia, reached out to me today. If you’re thinking of moving to Madrid, get in touch. They’re called Life in the Move.
- And here are my favorite restaurants in the Barceloneta neighborhood. They’re not open yet, but they soon will be – at least for takeout. There are some good places here. (Hit me up if you’re in the barrio. We can have a socially distant beer on the plaza.)
- While we’re at it, here’s a list of my favorite international restaurants in Barcelona. You’ve got Peruvian, Nepalese, Indian, Colombian, Hungarian and much more on the list. And I’ll be adding more soon. I’ve personally eaten at all of them (unless I say otherwise in the article) and they’re great. GO GIVE THEM SOME MONEY!
- Today, here in Barcelona, I had coffee at a place called News and Coffee. You know how people always say “It’s the small things”? Well, I didn’t really believe it, back in the before times. Then I had a good espresso while sitting on a bench in the sunshine, for the first time in 50 days. Turns out they were right: it’s the small things. Go get a goddamn coffee. The price is good too, and it’s actually a newsstand on the street. They’re at Paseo de Sant Joan, 17, right between Arc de Triomf and Tetuán.
- If you’re in Madrid, I have no idea what’s going on. (Hit me up, Madrid businesses, and I’ll include you in this or a future article.) But my friends say that Trikki New Orleans Cuisine is open for delivery (now or soon) at Calle Santa Engracia, 109 in Chamberí. They also have gift cards you can buy now and use later. They gave me a free sandwich back in the day, and I’m eternally grateful.
- The people at Cero Coffee Roasters also reached out to me. They’re on Calle Alcántara, close to Retiro in Madrid. Go get some coffee, or get it delivered to your house.
In short: find a place in your neighborhood that’s NOT a giant corporation and GIVE THEM SOME FUCKING MONEY.
Owning a business is hard.
Ask me how I know.
And it’s going to be harder now.
Buy small and buy local… Today, motherfucker.
In the last Spanish crisis, AKA the Great Recession, a lot of small businesses ate it and were replaced by 100 Montaditos or some stupid pawn shop. I’ve got a whole article about it.
Let’s not let that happen again.
If it’s in any way within your means this month, go out and spend some money at a local business.
There’s someone out there, probably a few blocks away at most, who’s working their asses off, paying an absolute barbaridad in taxes (again, ask me how I know) and getting up way earlier than you do in order to open their shop and serve their community.
Okay, rant over.
P.S. Once again, if you own a local business in Madrid, Barcelona or somewhere in Spain, drop me a line. I’ll see if I can do something to promote you. And while we’re here: thanks for doing what you do.
P.P.S. Update! I’ve got more Madrid businesses here. Get your hair cut, your junk waxed, some fruit or wine or food delivered to your door. Etc. Have fun!