COVID-19 Community Response Roundup: Trading Main Streets & A World of Hearts

April 15, 2020 | COVID-19 Community Response Roundup: Trading Main Streets & A World of Hearts | By: Abby Armato, Communications Coordinator, NMSC |
4_15_CommunityRoundup_Blog.pngBusinesses participating in #AWorldOfHearts around West Chester, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Downtown West Chester)

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.

Milk Money. Last week, the Milk District in Orlando, Florida, announced a new way for customers to support local safely: Milk Money. This Main Street program is pulling their district’s businesses together to offer these gift certificates with a twist. Customers will pay $7.50 for a coupon, but will redeem it for $10. The program will be covering the difference in cost as well as providing free shipping.

Trading Main Streets. Two Virginia Main Street communities have joined forces in an effort to boost local tourism and business. Culpeper Renaissance, Inc., and Gloucester Main Street Association partnered together to offer Trading Main Streets: a downtown getaway weekend for two in the fall. Complete with tours, meals, and lodging, these packages present ample opportunities to highlight various downtown businesses in both districts. Tickets are being raffled off for $20 for one or $50 for three. “What better way to celebrate the end of the COVID-19,” said Culpeper Renaissance, Inc., “than to get out and enjoy a weekend getaway for two in the Fall!”

A Different Kind of Staycation. An early spring Staycation event is a Downtown Petoskey classic. Any other year, this event encourages residence to stay at the hotel in the district and treat themselves to a package of Main Street goodies: Downtown Dollars, merchant offers, and more. In light of the pandemic, many aspects of this event need to be canceled. But Downtown Petoskey has found a new way to help residents take a different kind of Staycation. For the duration of April, the Downtown Office will add extra value to every gift certificate purchased from a local business. For every $50 spent on merchant gift certificates, shoppers will receive $25 extra in Downtown Dollars. “This gift of Downtown Dollars is our present to you for being responsible and staying home,” says the Main Street program.
A World of Hearts. Downtown West Chester in West Chester, Pennsylvania, is taking paper hearts to a whole new level. Taking inspiration from the windows of a local barbershop, the Main Street has been amplifying the incredible paper heart displays popping up in windows around the downtown. Businesses are tagging their installations using #AWorldOfHearts to keep the positivity and creativity flowing. “The idea is to share love by placing hearts in our windows, and to let neighbors and those passing by know that we are all in this together,” said the program.

Facebook Frames. Laramie Main Street Alliance in Laramie, Wyoming, launched an exciting addition to their social media presence: Facebook frames. The program designed three different images with the Downtown Laramie logo and different phrases such as “I love local businesses,” “Supporting Local while Staying Home,” and “Building Community During COVID-19.” The Alliance reported that these frames were easy to create and upload to Facebook. What a great way to showoff your support for local.

#OneMillionBubbles. This weekend, over 1700 balloon designers from around the world created balloon art installations as a part of an event called One Million Bubbles. This event asked designers to fill neighborhoods, towns, and cities with hope by using colorful balloons in creative ways. Several Main Street communities joined this movement, such as Montevallo Main Street in Montevallo, Alabama. Check out #OneMillionBubbles on social media to see other beautiful balloon installations.

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.