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Helping businesses during difficult times

In April of this year, Downtown PKB was working behind the scenes to locate resources to help our small business owners who were dealing with the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We were busy on social media sharing resources and encouraging the community to support our local businesses with carryout, curbside, or delivery options while indoor dining was closed down.

One thing we thought we could help was to launch a “shop local” campaign. We reached out to our peers at Charleston Main Streets to see how their local spending campaign (SpreeWV) was running and began planning how we could implement this in our community.

We talked to several members of our Partner Program and BB&T, now Truist Bank, graciously agreed to sponsor our #ShopPKB local shopping campaign. The goal of the campaign is to help support our downtown businesses through this incentive opportunity for shoppers. #ShopPKB is a spending campaign where shoppers submit $150 dollars in receipts at downtown Parkersburg businesses to Downtown PKB for a quarterly $25 Visa gift card giveaway.

“We at BB&T, now Truist Bank, are pleased to support the #ShopPKB campaign which is a program that will help drive business to our local downtown small business establishments. We truly appreciate our community partnerships with organizations such as Downtown PKB that focus on economic revitalization at a time when it’s needed most,” says Marlo Long, SVP, CRA & Community Development at Truist Bank.

Our first gift card winner of the #ShopPKB campaign visited Parkersburg this summer and spent over $500 in our local economy.

“As a person not from Parkersburg, I came for the history of the area and thoroughly enjoyed sightseeing everything we could from the Oil & Gas Museum to Blennerhassett Island to staying at the Historic Blennerhassett Hotel. My significant other and I even walked around the city just to enjoy the environment. I love supporting small and local businesses no matter where I am, so offering an incentive gives people even more reason to participate. I liked being able to help out the Parkersburg community just by spending money at local places as well as trying out new places, food, and more.” — Cari (Beckley, W.Va.)

In conjunction with this program, Truist is offering through our partnership free educational seminars to assist business owners. During our first seminar on September 29, participants will take part in this free virtual personal finance seminar called “Budgeting During a Crisis.” The goal of this seminar is to provide participants with crisis-budgeting best practices, ideas on creative income streams, and information about resources available to you during this time.

Space is still available but limited. If you or someone from your business would like to participate, contact Wendy Shriver, Downtown PKB Executive Director, at wendy@downtownpkb.com by Monday at noon. Details for this virtual seminar will then be emailed out to the participants prior to the session on Tuesday afternoon. We encourage all our small business owners to take advantage of this educational resource to help your business.

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Wendy L. Shriver is the executive director of Downtown PKB.

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