LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Local businesses are searching for ways to continue to pay staff while keeping their business afloat during shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While many business owners are waiting for emergency loans from the government, they are also counting on their communities to help.

READ MORE: Irvine Man, 67, Killed In Solo-Vehicle Crash In Tustin

Some businesses have created virtual tip jars as a way to raise funds for laid-off employees. Other businesses are letting customers support them in other ways.

READ MORE: LA To Offer Appointment-Free COVID-19 Vaccines At City-Run Sites

“We’re encouraging people to take advantage of small businesses where they might be able to,” said Pat Nye of Small Business Development Center Network.

“Buy gift cards, send flowers,  or even shopping ahead for occasions like birthdays and holidays if you can,” he said.

MORE NEWS: Flower Shortage Drives Up Costs This Mother's Day

The Small Business Development Center Network has centers across the country that are working to help business owners and entrepreneurs better understand programs that are available through the Federal Cares Act.