Supporting Local Business and Each Other
2020 has been a difficult year for all of us, for many reasons. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown our economy into a serious recession, and had a similar impact on many of our household budgets. . Many of our small and local businesses are also struggling.
Supporting these businesses is more important than ever. The people who work in and own them are our friends and neighbors. They are a critical part of what makes our neighborhoods special. And every dollar you spend locally not only stays in our community, it creates more jobs and generates more economic activity than when you shop at chain stores.
So I’m asking you to shop Madison today to make sure our local businesses are here tomorrow. I’ve taken the Shop Madison pledge – pledging to shop at (on-line, or in person with physical distance and your mask) 10 local businesses by December 31. You can do the same here.
It’s easy to do, and it’s a great way to get to know more about our local merchants. Whether they are downtown, east, west north or on the south side of the City, they all need our support. I’ve been working on keeping my pledge, and it’s been really fun to find unique, quality gifts for my friends and family. I know not everyone can afford to spend on the holidays this year, which makes it even more important for those who can to do our part.
The City is pleased to partner with local organizations working to support our businesses. City staff initiated the Streatery program earlier this year, to allow restaurants the ability to seat patrons safely outdoors, by closing off parking and in some cases streets. Some restaurants are able to continue the program with outdoor heaters. I encourage you to check out that opportunity as you look for great food from some of your favorite chefs and wait staff.
City staff have also been implementing a program called Small Business Equity and Recovery Grants or SBER. This program works to assist businesses independently owned by people of color.
Our City staff have expertise in many areas of economic and business development and are happy to respond to questions and requests.
We all know this has been an incredibly difficult year and although we know the vaccine is coming in 2021, nothing is going to happen right away. We need to work together, to support each other and work to keep each other healthy. Please wear your mask, avoid gatherings and stay healthy.