What is Split Your Shop? The easy, painless way to help local businesses during COVID-19

Local businesses are hurting during the coronavirus pandemic. Helping them stay afloat is easier than you think.

What is Split Your Shop? The easy, painless way to help local businesses during COVID-19
[Photo: @marjan_blan/Unsplash]

Want to help a lot of hurting neighbors in an hour? You can!


It’s called Split Your Shop: List all the items on your grocery list, and then call in orders for as many as you can to local stores, many of which may still be doing contactless deliveries despite their shuttered storefronts. Since you’re spending the money anyway, this is a painless way to send those dollars to the people who desperately need it.

Here are items to split:

  • Coffee. Local cafes and roasters are delivering bulk beans. Order two months’ worth.
  • Beer and Wine. Local breweries and wine shops. Breweries are particularly hurting.
  • Bread, pies, etc. Try your bakery. Remember that bread freezes well. You can slice five loaves and freeze ’em.
  • Haircare. Don’t forget your local salon. Buy a giant container of shampoo and conditioner.
  • Pet food and treats. Local pet store. You can tell the owner what you usually buy, and they’ll bring an equivalent.
  • Chocolate. If you have a local chocolatier, call them. Chocolate freezes well.
  • Books. Many local bookstores are delivering within small radiuses.
  • Art supplies. Local art store. Try saying, “I’d like to spend $X to keep my kids occupied,” and let ’em choose.
  • Ice cream. Local ice cream or gelato place. Order a bunch of quarts.
  • Beauty products. Local spa or beauty store.
  • Kids’ supplies. Local kid boutiques will drop off everything from sidewalk chalk to diapers to balloons.
  • Birthday presents. Call a toy store or book store or gift store, and ask them to deliver to your friend.


  • Fast delivery. Local stores may deliver immediately, while Amazon and grocery delivery services are currently overwhelmed and delayed.
  • Delightful phone conversations. Business owners really need a bit of phone love. Perhaps you’ll make a new friend out of all this awfulness, which is all you can really ask.
  • Goodness. The warm feeling of knowing that you helped to the best of your ability.

Pro tip: You can just say, “I would like to spend $X on ____,” and let the owner pick the items, which protects your budget and lets you benefit from their expert taste.

Thanks for doing your part.