The weekend before the lockdown came into force, friends and I had planned to spend the day together with our families at a local tourism attraction.
We had bought vouchers earlier in the year, which were due to expire in April.
However, preparing for what we assumed was an inevitable lockdown in the fight against Covid-19 meant we spent that last weekend getting organised and didn't make it. We knew if we were to go into lockdown we would have missed the chance to use the vouchers for the 10 of us and we were fine with that.
Asking for a refund or an extension of our expiry dates hadn't even crossed our minds because we knew the massive impact the lockdown would have on everyone, and how likely it would hurt or potentially destroy businesses.
We were all healthy and had a safe place to spend the lockdown and that was the most important thing.
Last week, I received an email out of the blue that told me the expiry date for our vouchers would be extended until the end of the year. I was pleasantly surprised.
I decided that for at least the rest of the year, once we are all out of lockdown, I would make a genuine effort to only spend money on local entertainment instead of heading out of town.
I started thinking about the local activities I was yet to try, the places I was yet to visit and the businesses I was yet to support and immediately thought of ways to change any spending habits to support local businesses.
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When the lockdown is over, I can't imagine being able to return to life as we knew it before. I'd expect restrictions, to some extent, will remain for some time and we'll likely see some of our favourite haunts shut their doors due to Covid-19-related financial struggles. We'll have friends who may lose jobs.
It's important we support our friends in times of need but it's also important we support local business if, and when, we can. Think of all those local businesses that have provided Player of the Day vouchers for kids who play sport, that support local events and play important roles in our communities.
Supporting them in their time of need isn't just about supporting a business owner, it's about helping our community and economy to recover quicker in the long road of recovery.