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COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Roundup: Downtown Loyalty Campaigns & Face Masks for Merchants

May 20, 2020 | COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Roundup: Downtown Loyalty Campaigns and Face Masks for Merchants | By: Abby Armato, Communications Coordinator, NMSC | 

5_20_CommunityResponse_Blog.pngPhoto credit (left to right): Olympia Downtown Alliance, Crawfordsville Main Street, and Bent Tree Coffee Roasters in Main Street Kent

The COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery blog series features ideas and approaches that local Main Street America programs are taking in response to the pandemic and during the recovery process. To view the full collection of roundups as well as access our robust collection of related resources, please visit our Main Street Forward COVID-19 resource center.

“Artists on Board.” In Downtown Olympia, Washington, the boarded-up exteriors of closed businesses become blank canvases ready for beautifying. The Olympia Downtown Alliance has partnered up with the Olympia Artspace Alliance and the City to launch a new initiative: “Artists on Board.” This group will be working with five boarded storefronts downtown. Throughout the weeks, they plan to highlight the profiles of the local artists who will be participating in this new partnership on their social media channels. When the businesses are able to reopen, the group plans to mount the art elsewhere or potentially auction it off. Learn more about this initiative here. At the time of this writing, Washington has opened retail stores for curbside pickup and restaurant dining in certain counties.

Colorful Open Hours.
Quickly communicating how and when businesses are open is key to reopening safely. Main Street Kent in Kent, Ohio, showcased one great example of this on the windows of Bent Tree Coffee Roasters. A new window display of large letters written in colorful window paint makes it easy for those walking or driving by to know the new hours of this local business as well as how they can pick up their coffee. See their windows here. At the time of this writing, Ohio has opened restaurants and bars for outdoor dining.
#YellowRose4Biz. The symbolism of the yellow rose has Crawfordsville Main Street in Crawfordsville, Indiana, ready to spread optimistic cheer. Symbolizing friendship, gratitude, and optimism, heart-shaped yellow roses have filled the second-floor windows of the downtown’s coworking space. “I want to help the small businesses downtown to know they’re supported and encourage them any way I can,” local artist Nina Cunningham, designer of the yellow rose symbol, said in a recent interview. Since this initial installation, the Main Street program has been offering both mosaic and single yellow roses available for free to downtown merchants. At the time of this writing, Indiana has opened retail stores and restaurant dining.

Face Masks for Merchants. From branded “Laurel Strong” face masks to hand sanitizer, Laurel Main Street in Laurel, Mississippi, is working hard to provide their member merchants with the safety equipment they need to reopen safely. Sharing these safety measures on their social media, this Main Street Program is encouraging their residents to both stay healthy and #GetDowntown. Learn more hereAt the time of this writing, Mississippi has opened retail stores.

Downtown Loyalty Campaign. Reaching out to their community, Downtown Lake Orion in Lake Orion, Michigan, is looking to raise funds to support their businesses. Entitled “The Lake Orion Loyalty Campaign,” this Main Street program aims to raise $25,000 through their crowdfunding initiative. To show their appreciation for those who donate, Lake Orion Downtown is saying thanks by offering Downtown Dollars and other prizes. Learn more about this campaign (and check out their beautifully simple campaign logo) here. At the time of this writing, Michigan has opened retail stores for curbside pickup.

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

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.