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Downtown PKB pulling together

As Jessica and I work ahead to plan our communications about upcoming fun events, downtown projects and other business developments to share with the community, today I’ve decided to hit pause and take a step back to process what is going on in the world, our country and our community.

Over the course of the past two weeks, the landscape of downtown has changed tremendously. Many of the downtown workers are either working from home, temporarily laid off from their jobs while others are fighting to remain open for business with creative, out of the box ideas such as curbside pickup, make and take art projects and new delivery options. Social communication with customers has become a must during these time of social distancing. People are coming together to figure out how to do business differently in an effort to keep their businesses open. Local banks are stepping up to offer a variety of different options to help keep businesses afloat during this difficult time.

In an effort to support our downtown businesses, Jessica Strickler, our events and marketing manager, has started spotlighting a business of the day to assist our small business owners in downtown with their marketing.

We are also keeping in contact with State Development Office, City officials and our County Economic Development Office, sharing resources as they become available to us. Notable items we have shared this past week on social media include:

Free 15 minutes parking spots are available downtown on Market Street from the 800 block to the 300 block to help with carryout/curbside orders for our downtown restaurants. As a reminder to downtown residents and workers, please keep these free 15 minutes spaces open for customers and relocate your parking to another block or a monthly parking lot. For a directory of public parking, please visit our website at downtownpkb.com/parking.

Facebook has committed $100M for their Small Business Grant Program to help during this challenging time. For more information, check out link on our Facebook page @downtownpkb

We shared valuable information from the Governor about how to file for unemployment benefits if you or someone you know has been laid off or furloughed. For more information, visit uc.workforcewv.org

West Virginia has been declared a designated state for the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) meaning that now, you can directly apply for a SBA loan to assist during this time. For more information, contact Marsa Meyers, our local Small Business Coach at Marsa.C.Myers@wv.gov.

The WV Tourism Commissioner called upon all our local restaurants to share updated hours of operation and more to be populated and promoted on the WVTourism.com and across their social channels.

Finally, during these difficult times we encourage you to do what you can from home to help out: order online from your favorite small business; tip generously; buy a giftcard from a local small business owner; share on social media your favorite restaurants specials (with pictures); participate in a virtual fitness class; invite your friends to like a new local business on Facebook and finally call someone you love and tell them you’re thinking about them.

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Wendy Shriver is the Executive Director of Downtown PKB.

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