In the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, which has disrupted economies, it is not the large corporations that are on the losing end but the small businesses.
According to a recent article, around 30 percent of Mexicans work in the informal economy. As the pandemic forces 10 percent of the country’s businesses to close, it is predicted that 18 million people will lose their jobs.
Unlike other countries, Mexico has not released stimulus checks to support its citizens who have no means of producing their needs or pay the rent this month. Therefore, supporting small businesses will help them survive and avoid laying off their workers.
Additionally, some of these businesses are family-owned and self-run. That is why supporting their products and services will also feed them for another day.
These small businesses vary from restaurants to organic produce farms to service providers like culinary schools to musicians and artists who find means to deliver their goods and services without putting their customers at risk.
Here’s a list of Mexico’s small businesses you can support during this quarantine:
Hot weather? No problem! Glace Bistro is sending out their gourmet ice cream in half liters. Pair it with Doña Emi’s tamales, which you can order by their hotline 55 4535 0103.
Are you looking for some sweets and baked goods to pair with your hot coffee? Anais Ruiz’s Surget Reposteria honors her French heritage.
Craving for some vegan meal? Maren Casorio, a poet and part-time cook, offers plant-based comida corrida (set lunch) delivery on Cactus & Honey, with new menus posted each week!
If you prefer home cooking, you can also order fresh farm produce online. Not only can you support these businesses, but you also support the farms from which they get their products.
Mercadillo Huacal‘s website features a “Weekly Huacal” basket that contains a variety of vegetables, fruits, and herbs from vendors in the Central de Abasto market. They also sell products individually, all provided by local businesses such as chocolate from La Rifa Chocolatería, coffee from AlmaNegra, sweet bread by Bonsanco. You can even donate a box to be given to a local health worker or anyone in need.
Were you looking for some organic produce? Yolcan offers excellent deliveries of organic veggies and fruits from the Valley of México once or twice a week.
Another delivery service you can support is Hortalizas Mago by growers in San Gregorio Atlapulco. You can reach them through their hotline 552 949 3115.
Some businesses have used the setbacks caused by the crisis to bounce back, such as Omar Ramos and María Ambrosio’s 3D printing business, which is now offering plastic shield masks. Meanwhile, Homohabilis typically makes beautiful leather and suede goods but has shifted to producing reusable face masks with hypoallergenic leather, which you can wipe down after each use.
You can take advantage of the quarantine by taking online cooking classes under chef Graciela Montaño. Right now, Aura Cooking School teaches how to make a taco, and soon they will offer Mexican salsa making, Mexican breakfast food, and Mexican sweets.
Local stylist Lauren Klein has even taken haircutting lessons online.
With empty bars and restaurants, local artists are taking their music online. To support its musicians, independent Mexican jazz label Pitayo music is offering online jazz concerts. For the price of the ticket, you can also watch local shows and receive freebies by tapping into the deals of the month. Proceeds of the concert will be used to support a whole network of local musicians.
Supporting these small Mexican businesses is a two-way process: you can get your needs without the fear of contagion while keeping these businesses, their workers, and the community alive.
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