Amy Byres

Being a business reporter, I have learned the best consumer practices to benefit our small businesses.
A little-known fact: When you see your favorite local restaurant on DoorDash or Grubhub, a portion of the proceeds from each order goes to the online platforms. Owners of Lily and Liam Bistro see over 20 percent of each order go to DoorDash.
Last year, the Los Angeles Times reported its city council capping how much delivery services can charge restaurants during the pandemic. The cap is 15 percent of the purchase price.
San Francisco and New York City have similar policies, according to the report.
Unfortunately, there is no such policy in Rio Rancho, but that does not mean we can’t take an extra step to help our mom-and-pop shops. Calling in and picking up orders is the easiest way to know 100 percent of your hard-earned money goes to support local businesses.
If a customer orders for delivery or pick- up directly through a restaurant’s website — if it has that option — a larger portion of the proceeds, if not all, go to the small business instead of a large corporation.
This same concept applies to retail sales of other goods. Always check out a business’s website first to see their delivery and pick-up options before going straight to Amazon. Every dollar matters to small-business owners.
Because of the position I am in, I have had the pleasure of listening to restaurant and shop owners talk about their businesses. Every, single person can’t help but smile when talking about the product or food, but every business owner’s body language changes when I ask, “How has business been through COVID?”
This question is starting to become my least-favorite to ask. I have had to report on Rio Rancho businesses closing through the pandemic, and that is my least-favorite article to write.
Supporting our local favorites — when money allows — is the best way to keep them around. My partner and I often stay home and cook, but we treat ourselves once in a while to an Upscale Burger or alligator from C3’s Bistro.
My father’s favorite watering hole is Turtle Mountain Brewing Co., where he gets the Hopshell India Pale Ale. My brother’s favorite lunch is the chicken serrano pasta at O’Hare’s Grille & Pub.
After a hike, there is nothing like a sandwich from Uncle T’s Sangwiches. With warmer days here, some frozen yogurt from the Chill Zone could help you cool off.
These are just some of the local restaurants I have reported on.
Each owner loves his or her business and has seen highs and lows through the pandemic. After hearing the stories of Rio Rancho’s entrepreneurs, I am more than happy to take a few extra steps to better support my community.
I challenge our readers to do the same, when they can.