The local restaurants, artists, the cute shops and weekly markets are the heartbeat of the Cortland County community. They serve us every day, and it's our time to pay it forward.
There are many ways we can't control the ongoing situation, but what we can control is how we respond to it, and how we support small businesses. Whether it's ordering takeout, picking up fresh vegetables at the farm stand, or leaving a glowing review on Facebook, there are many ways you can make a difference while still keeping a safe social distance.
Keep reading for simple tips to help our Cortland County businesses stay afloat.
SUPPORT NOW, SHOP LATER
Support your local restaurants, shops, hotels and attractions right now, even if you don't want to leave your house! Purchase a gift card over the phone or through their website.
The idea is to give them some financial help now to help them through this difficult time, and then you can use that card down the line when social distancing is no longer required.
KEEP CALM, AND CARRY OUT
A number of Cortland County eateries, breweries and bars are ramping up off-site dining options, include takeout, curb-side pick-up, delivery and contactless delivery. Click here for a listing of restaurants who are still open and offering these services. Don't forget to tip!
Please note the list will be updated as information comes in. If there are any restaurants/eateries that we have missed, please send an email to email@example.com with the name of the venue and options available.
Several Cortland County retail locations are offering virtual shopping experiences so you can get your shopping fix while social distancing. Willow Lane Farmhouse and Olde Homer House are posting images on their Facebook pages of merchandise available for purchase. See something you like? All you have to do is comment SOLD! Bev & Co. and Homer Men & Boys have online shops so you can order clothing, accessories and more and have it shipped directly to your door.
Don't forget to send your loved ones flowers (or treat yourself) during these crazy times. Arnold's Florist, Cortland Flower Shop and Shaw & Boehler are all offering delivery.
SUPPORT ON SOCIAL
You don't need to spend money to support our favorite local businesses. You can still help out by following them on social media, liking and sharing their posts and leaving positive reviews to let the world know how awesome they area. It's a free, easy way to spread the word.
The Experience Cortland team has put together Experience Cortland Bingo: Social Distancing Edition. You can support the local community and have some fun all while adhering to the recommended six feet of social distance. The game is simple. Players must complete all eight tasks accompanied with pictures tagging @experiencecortland to receive an Experience Cortland campfire mug. Along with ordering takeout from county eateries, the card encourages people to purchase a gift card, explore Cortland County trails and stay active with virtual workouts. Check out some of the examples below as the Experience Cortland staff takes part in the fun. Download the bingo card here.
Explore new places in Cortland County as you work through a bingo card created by The Seven Valleys Health Coalition. It's full of fun physical activities and food challenges, including the Experience Cortland GeoTour. As you complete each activity, don’t forget to take a picture of yourself and post it to Facebook with the tag @SevenValleysHealthCoalition. Download the bingo card here.
Looking for a productive, creative way to pass by the time while social distancing? Designz by Heather and local musician and art teacher Molly Andrejko are posting DIY craft videos on their respective Facebook and/or YouTube pages for you and your children to enjoy. Create something small, but thoughtful for one of the local restaurants to say 'thank you' for staying open and keeping us fed!
There are also several Little Free Libraries around the county stock with creative supplies and books to keep you busy on any day. Don't forget to use hand sanitizer every time you use the library and clean the books/supplies with disinfectant wipes.
SUPPORT LOCAL FARMS
Swing by and pick up some fresh produce from the Farmer's Market and help support our local farmers. The City of Cortland Farmers' Market is open Tuesdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Current market offerings are maple products, baked goods, crafts, bedding plants, veggie starters, honey and more. Please bring a reusable bag and don't forget to wear your mask. Follow the Virgil Farmers Market and Homer Farmers Market on Facebook for updates.
You can also pay a visit to independently owned shops and markets. Trinity Valley Dairy has opened their doors to give the public another spot for the essentials. Fresh breads, eggs, milk, frozen meat and more will be available for pickup or delivery - place an order over the phone, or submit an online delivery order form.
Anderson's Farm Market and The Local Food Market are open with fully stocked shelves, and fresh produce. If you're unwell and need shopping assistance, you can call in and they can get an order together for you for curbside pickup.
TAKE A HIKE
Don't forget to go outdoors for fresh air and exercise. The point is not to remain indoors, but to avoid being in close contact with people.
Cortland County has a variety of ways you can take advantage of the great outdoors. There are over 30,000 acres of state forest land for hiking, along with miles of scenic roadways for cycling. There are 12 miles of trails to explore at the Lime Hollow Nature Center (the Visitor Center will be closed). If the weather is warm enough, dust off the kayaks and paddle your way through the Otselic and Tioughnioga Rivers.
If you're unable to step outside to breath in some fresh air, or maybe the weather isn't cooperating during this time of self-quarantine, we have a solution for you. The Experience Cortland team has put together a Virtual Walk in the Woods for you to enjoy from the comfort of your home.
Share how you're supporting local by tagging @experiencecortland and using hashtag #experiencecortland.