COVID-19 Community Response Roundup: Sidewalk Chalk & Literature Drops


March 23, 2020 | COVID-19 Community Response Roundup: Sidewalk Chalk & Literature Drops | By: Abby Armato, Communications Coordinator, NMSC | 

From left to right: Kenosha Downtown, Chinatown Main Street, and Euphoria Coffee

The COVID-19 Community Response blog series features ideas and approaches that local Main Street America programs are taking in response to the pandemic. We will be posting these roundups frequently throughout the duration of the crisis. To view the full collection of roundups as well as access our robust collection of coronavirus-related resources, please visit our COVID-19 Main Street Resources webpage.

Learning to Do Business Online.
Euphoria Coffee in West Union, Iowa, is leading the charge as small businesses in the district transition from bricks-and-mortar to online sales. Cafe owners Nick and Jacey Yost pulled an all-nighter to learn how to make that shift a reality. By morning, they had their new online services up on social media and ready to take orders. What's more, the team decided to create special take-out meals for families, which they offer in a variety of serving sizes via online ordering and next-day delivery or pick-up. But the couple wasn't done. Nic and Jacey then connected with other restaurants in West Union Main Street's district to provide training and support, helping other businesses learn how to make the switch to doing business online. Led by Euphoria Coffee, this collaboration has resulted in coordinated delivery services, shared online ordering, and a strengthening of the relationships between the local businesses. Robin Bostrom, Business Specialist for Main Street Iowa, summarizes the effects of these initiatives well: "Breaking down the barriers of competition and doing what small businesses do best – pivot!" Learn more here.

Porch Happy Hour
. Eastern Market Main Street in Washington, D.C., welcomed spring with a Ward 6 Porch Happy Hour. In the spirit of social-distancing, the Main Street encouraged their community to sit out on their porches and join their neighbors for a drink or bite to eat. This communal happy hour provided a chance for the community to order take-out or delivery from local businesses. Learn more about the initiative here.

Literature Drop. Armed with bags of informational flyers, Chinatown Main Street in Boston, Mass., spent Sunday driving around their district to provide informative literature about COVID-19 in seven different languages. See pictures of their team in action here. Be sure your Main Street program is making information as accessible as possible to everyone in your community!

Chalk Your Walk. Several Main Street programs hosted Chalk Your Walk events this weekend. These events encouraged communities to use chalk to draw or write encouraging messages on driveways and sidewalks. In Kenosha, Wis., volunteers for Downtown Kenosha drew beautiful images and inspirational chalk messages outside of businesses. "There is nothing stronger in the world than gentleness," reads one colorful messages on the sidewalk in the downtown corridor. We couldn't agree more. 

Adopt-Our-Seniors. Downtown Hollister is promoting a new initiative created in collaboration with the City of Hollister Recreation Department and Jovenes De Antaño calling for residents of San Benito County to "adopt" a senior citizen in their community. The initiative asks that the community "lend a helping hand" for senior citizens during the pandemic by donating food items and other essentials such as toilet paper, soap, and toothpaste. Learn more about this initiative here

"Show Some Local Love" Giveaway. The Heart of Danville in Danville, Ky., is incentivizing their community to show some love for their Main Street this week. During this last full week of March, the Heart of Danville is encouraging the community to post photos of themselves shopping from local businesses and restaurants as well as photos of volunteering downtown. One lucky winner will be drawn at the end of the week for a chance to receive a $25 gift card to a local establishment. We appreciate that this giveaway includes entries for those who are able to volunteer on their Main Street. Learn more about this #SupportLocalSafely giveaway here

We look forward to sharing more Main Street community responses. Please fill out this form if your community has implemented an idea or approach you'd like to contribute.

Community Responses Across the Map

View our growing collection of community responses across the Main Street America Network using the interactive map below.

Disclaimer: This material has been prepared for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for legal, insurance, liability, tax, or accounting advice. You should consult your own legal, insurance, tax, and accounting advisors for guidance on these matters.