'Show your love:' Woman buying gift cards to support local business during COVID-19 closures

MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee woman doesn't want to see her neighborhood restaurants close their doors for good, so she found a simple way to support them -- and hopes others will follow her lead.

On any given weekend, Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward is often packed with people. A spot at a table can be hard to come by, but not now, in the heart of a public health crisis. That's why Liz McGovern wanted to help.

"I have the ability to work from home whenever I want as it is. So, I decided I have this opportunity. My paycheck's not being affected. I really want to support the other people who can't do this right now," she said.

Missing the food, drinks and service of brunch at Cafe Benelux, she decided to buy a gift card -- supporting the temporarily-closed restaurant and its employees with the same amount of money she'd normally spend.

She's hoping others will catch on to the small gesture that could have a big impact.

"Show your love for your community. Go out and support them. If you want to go there again when this is over, you need to support them now," McGovern said.

She did the same at BelAir Cantina, donating money to the popular Mexican restaurant on what is normally "Taco Tuesday".

Her efforts come as federal assistance will soon be available for small business owners. Wisconsin's request for emergency, low-interest small business loans was approved by the federal government, giving them access to cash now to keep doors open.

"Small businesses are our nation and state and community's backbone, and we need to support them through this trying time," Eric Ness, Small Business Association Wisconsin district director, said.

Small business owners have to provide a handful of documents as part of applying for an emergency loan. For application information, CLICK HERE.