The Montavilla East Tabor Business Association (METBA) started a nine-week long contest this week. Its goal is to support local businesses by encouraging residents to patronize shops in the area. Dubbed Bingo, this program enters contestants into a weekly drawing for one $100 gift card.
METBA will post a list of business locations on their website for the current contest period. New lists post to the site at the beginning of the week. Participants need to make a purchase or complete a task at four businesses on that list. Emailing proof of participation or purchase to email@example.com will enter participants in that week’s drawing. Then the gift card is awarded to a selected contestant each week, providing nine chances to win.
Due to its cancellation this year, local businesses missed out on the community exposure they receive from the Montavilla Street Fair. This Bingo event is an opportunity to explore local businesses and provide support during a challenging time. Participants will even have a chance to win something for their efforts. The first week’s activities are already underway, ending this Sunday.
This years Montavilla Street Fair has been canceled in response to COVID-19. The annual event was set to occur on July 26th and would have been on SE Stark street, as it has for many years. The event is hosted by the Montavilla East Tabor Business Association (METBA). METBA President, Pete Dills, announced the cancelation at the June 16th association meetup.
The decision to cancel this years fair was driven by many factors. Concern for everyones health was the primary reason. Beyond that concern, the States reopening guidelines would also prohibit any event like the street fair. In past years the event has attracted thousands of visitors. Any social distancing plan would be complicated and hard to monitor. “I do not know how we would ‘police’ something like that,” said Dills.
Logistics alone were not the only reason to cancel this years fair. METBA Board member, Carmen Wilson, added that the issues were also financial. The Permits for closing Stark street, from 76th Ave to 82nd Ave, is a large cost to METBA. They would be unlikely to recoup that cost through in donations this year. Instead, METBA wishes to use the funds they have to support local businesses in other ways.
Dills presented a few ideas of how METBA could help local businesses, instead of hosting the street fair. One idea, would try to replicate the business exposer from participating in the fair. The structure of the program would spread out participation over a month, to allow for COVID-19 related restrictions. Currently it’s referred to as “Montavilla Passport.” The Passport would be a mobile-device friendly why to interact with or patronize local businesses. This may be though in person visits or no-contact ways of interacting.
Dills’ other idea, had METBA creating a neighborhood scavenger hunt. Both ideas have the goal to help the residents know “what businesses are open and provide opportunities for the Montavilla community to support their local business district in fun and unique ways.” Wrote Dills in an email to Montavilla News.
METBA is seeking advice and feedback from the community about what can replace the Montavilla Street Fair this year. You are invited to email firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas and thoughts on what METBA should do. Local businesses need extra support this year and now is the best time to start work on how the community can band together.
On June 2nd, Montavilla East Tabor Business Association (METBA) held the second of four online business-owner meetups. During the evenings conversation, business owners and community members discussed how they plan to reopen. The presenter reviewed Oregon’s Statewide Guidance with attendees. Each participant then outlined what they are doing, or will do, as part of opening to the public.
Safety for staff and customers was the overwhelming theme surrounding reopening procedures. Each business had their own method for exceeding the minimum standards set-out in the Statewide Guidance. In those documents, masks for staff are required but optional for customers. However many business owners at the meetup said they are requiring masks for everyone who enters their business, customers included. This is to insure workplace safety for their staff and the safety of other customers.
While many business owners in Montavilla have an idea of how to safely open, some are not comfortable with opening yet. Two people, one representing a Montavilla church and the other who’s an owner of a co-working space, said they are keeping their spaces closed for the foreseeable future. For some businesses there is just not a safe way have face to face contact but they are developing online and outdoor options.
Pete Dills, METBA President, summarized the meetup in a few key ideas. The number one thing is to keep staff and customers safe. Keep businesses viable. Keep employees employed. Continue to offer products and services to Montavilla residents.
Dills went on to offer a message to the patrons of Montavilla, “Be patient with us.” For all the business owners, they are trying to figure out how this will work. There is no one procedure for all businesses and the processes will need to change as the situation changes. For questions about what stores are open, METBA encourages you to check their COVID-19 resource page.
METBA business owner meetups are Tuesdays from 7-8pm. If you are a Montavilla or East Tabor business owner, you are encouraged to participate. Pleaser register to join the last two meetups. Participation is free and open to all business owners.
Last night the Montavilla East Tabor Business Association (METBA) held the first in a series of online business owner meetups. METBA has held many in person meetups, however this is the first time taking it online. What has traditionally been a social gathering, these meetups have taken on a more serious tone. All the subjects for these events, are around keeping your business sustainable in the midst of a pandemic.
Over ten Montavilla business owners attended the May 26th Zoom event. The topic was focused on paying rent and working with your landlord during the shutdown. Many participants shared their own experiences, and sought advice from others.
During the evenings conversation, the group identified the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) as needing its own hour of conversation. It is probable that PPP will become the topic of week 4.
There are still three more events scheduled. If you are a Montavilla or East Tabor business owner, you are encouraged to participate. Pleaser register to join one, or all, of the remaining meetups. Participation is free and open to all businesse owners. Meetups are Tuesdays from 7-8pm.
WEEK 1: May 26th – Landlord communications (already occured)
WEEK 2: June 2nd – Re-opening your business safely – current guidelines
WEEK 3: June 9th – Networking during COVID – Supporting one another’s biz
WEEK 4: June 16th – Topic TBA (Proposed: Paycheck Protection Program)
Everyone knows that the remainder of 2020 will be challenging to business owners all over the world. By banding together, our local businesses have much better chance of surviving this economic challenge.