10 ways to use your stimulus check to support Pittsburgh — if you can spare it

Stimulus checks are going out — you may have received yours already. 

And what Pittsburghers do with that money really matters as local businesses struggle with the economic impacts of this pandemic. 

According to economists, every dollar spent locally creates a ripple effect in the economy.

If you’re fortunate enough to have something left over after covering the basics, here are 10 ways to use that money to help Pittsburgh businesses and workers. 

1. Help your neighbors 

We’ve compiled a list of all the ways you can help other Pittsburghers right now, including lots of great causes that could use your donation dollars, like the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, the Refugee Assistance Fund, and funds to support service industry workers. Take a look for yourself.  

2. Support local restaurants  

Dining in is out, but lots of your favorite Pittsburgh restaurants are still doing takeout or deliveries. Here’s a list of your options from our friends at Good Food Pittsburgh.

3. Boost local musicians 

If your favorite local musician had to cancel a show, you can support them by buying their tracks on Bandcamp. Or donate to the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council’s Emergency Fund for Artists, which is helping offset lost income for artists of all types.

4. Drink local

Unlike toilet paper, booze is something you can feel good about hoarding — and many local breweries and wineries are offering delivery or pickup options. Here’s a list of breweries from Very Local Pittsburgh and a list of wineries and distilleries from NEXTpittsburgh. 

5. Pay in advance for things you’ll buy anyway

Small businesses need to keep cash coming in right now, so many of them are selling gift cards or giving customers the option to pay in advance for tattoos, haircuts, or other services. 

6. Buy books 

Pittsburgh’s independent bookstores are hurting. You can help them stay afloat by buying books or gift cards. This includes locations like White Whale, City of Asylum, Amazing Books & Records, and many more. 

7. Get your groceries 

For your next grocery run, head to a locally owned market like Reyna Foods, Wholey’s, Salonika Imports, Bombay Food Market, Salem’s Market, and more. The lines are shorter and the shelves often fuller than those at the big chains.

8. Donate to a nonprofit or economic relief fund

Local nonprofits are struggling too, some facing layoffs and funding shortfalls at a time of intensified demand for their services — places like the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh and the YMCA.

9. Read local

Subscribe to the local news outlets you rely on, especially at times like this. If that includes The Incline, we’d love your support as we weather our new economic reality with many of our industry partners. Become a member for $8/month or $80/year with code incline_annual. Or contribute any amount that works for you here.

10. Donate time 

If you can’t donate money right now, consider donating your time to help others impacted by the crisis. Here’s our list of ways you can help, including volunteer opportunities with organizations like 412 Food Rescue, Meals on Wheels, buddy programs, and blood drives.

Like stories like this? Support us by becoming a member or contributing to our crowdfunding campaign.