We are always creating shop local campaigns as a way to drive traffic to our local shops and eateries. But this year, it's different. In no uncertain terms, our businesses need support now more than ever, and we are working like crazy to support them in whatever ways we can. But at the end of the day, we need that support to come from all of you reading this newsletter - as dedicated community members - to ensure our businesses make it through this incredibly rough patch.
Our business community has been incredibly transparent with our team and continues to report staggering decline in sales, with several down between 35-50%, consistently. Simply put, that is not sustainable for a very long period of time. And while restaurants and retailers were able to reopen in mid-May, many of them (especially restaurants) are still finding their footing in this new normal and trying to find ways to bring in revenue to simply stay afloat.
I've been amazed at our business owners' resiliency and tenacity - they're an incredible group. Many of them are innovating their business models (pick up a picnic from Solera!), introducing new products (BLT pizza from Pagliai's or gluten free wraps from Dari Barn), and working on new and creative ideas to safely serve customers amid the pandemic. Last week, City Council asked the Chamber of Commerce to pursue a collaborative effort that could address some of the challenges restaurants are facing, and we are excited to be researching streateries (aka street dining) as one potential concept. Would you take just a couple minutes to complete this brief survey to help us gauge the community's interest in outdoor dining concepts?
We know it's possible that some businesses may not weather this storm, but we hope that creative and innovative ideas and solutions, paired with a community willing to support its local establishments, will ensure many prevail.
Join me as we continue to #GRINNtogether to support local.
p.s. Thank you to all who have supported our efforts through the Chamber Champions program - we are so grateful! To learn more about the program or donate today, click here.