COVID-19 Community Response Roundup: Ideas from the UrbanMain Network

  
June 24, 2020 | COVID-19 Community Response Roundup: Ideas from the UrbanMain Network

SOMA_Dining_Room_Blog.jpgThe SoMA Outdoor Dining Room in Little Rock, Arkansas. Photo courtesy of Downtown Little Rock Partnership.

The COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery blog series features ideas and approaches that local Main Street programs are taking in response to the pandemic and during the recovery process. To view the full collection of roundups from downtowns across the country, as well as access our robust collection of related resources, please visit our COVID-19 resource center. Keep reading for responses from across the UrbanMain Network.

A Community Dining Room. Downtown Little Rock Partnership in Little Rock, Arkansas worked with SoMa Little Rock and local restaurants to create the “SoMa Outdoor Dining Room.” Located in a downtown parking lot, this outdoor dining space allows people to purchase and enjoy food safely from seven local restaurants. A local distillery provides hand sanitizer, local bands perform live music, and restaurants share the responsibilities of making sure patrons follow social distancing and sanitize their space after they leave. Learn more here.

Social Distance Dance Party. In Birmingham, Alabama, Rev Birmingham partnered with a local real estate company to host a social distance dance party, complete with a DJ and giveaways. The party took place on the Parkside Trail, a street that was recently turned into a car-free, multi-use trail to improve walkability and provide space for pop-up activations. Rev Birmingham painted colorful dots on the street six feet apart to ensure dancers could practice social distancing.

Cash Mobs. Historic King Drive BID in Milwaukee, Wisconsin recently launched a weekly “Cash Mob” to support local businesses. Every Friday in the summer, the BID will select a business and encourage their community to support them both online and in-store (if applicable). Stores provide special offers to sweeten the deal, which the BID promotes on social media. Learn more here.

Virtual Art Walk. Kendall Whittier Main Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma recently took their monthly art walk onto social media. They put out a call for Tulsa artists to send photos that best exemplified their artwork, the cost, and the best way to purchase, as well as their name and social accounts. Artists and their works were featured on their social channels. Learn more here.

Live Streams and Interview Shows. Elmwood Village Association in Buffalo, New York has hosted Instagram live video interviews with their small business owners to talk about everything from ways they’re keeping customers safe to pieces they’re selling online. They also hosted a series of Facebook Live videos where local musicians live-streamed performances and took song requests. Viewers could order brunch or dinner deals from local restaurants to enjoy food while they took in the show. Pigtown Main Street in Baltimore, Maryland has been hosting a news show on their Instagram page. Their news segments are hosted by their mascot, a giant pink pig, wearing a face masks while interviewing local businesses. These businesses are able to show how they are open, how they are staying safe, and how their community can continue to #supportlocalsafely. View an example of their news segment here.


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

Response and Recovery Efforts Across the Map

View ideas and approaches that local Main Street America programs are taking in response to the pandemic and during the recovery process.



(Orange pins indicate responses during the crisis and blue pins indicate recovery efforts. However, many ideas are interchangeable and applicable regardless of your state and community's reopening status.)


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.

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