San Francisco, CA, July 26, 2023 –(PR.com)– In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, cities are having to redefine themselves. The pandemic’s impact led to a shift in urban dynamics with people preferring to dine and shop in residential neighborhoods allowing them to stay close to home. Unfortunately, these changing habits have persisted and as a result, downtown area businesses are suffering nationwide. The primary consequence is the loss of numerous small businesses and cherished “mom and pop” shops, which have served as enduring symbols of main street. However, there is a collective effort underway to safeguard these businesses, led by private citizens, tech entrepreneurs, and organizations dedicated to supporting small enterprises.
On July 12, the planned closing of the Anchor Brewing Company located in San Francisco, CA, since 1896 was announced. Mike Walsh, a Venture Capitalist with Structure Capital, showed his support and commitment to preserve this local treasure by announcing his plan to rescue the iconic brewery. Walsh recognizes the importance of the brewery to the city, and he is committed to presenting a compelling offer to keep it open. He is currently looking at several options for raising the funds to complete the purchase. “It is an iconic brew, and the brand represents innovation and grit,” said Walsh. His goal is to keep the brewery where it is and with its current employees. He has “a large investor group with hundreds more interested in investing through a crowdfunding option. I’m happy to collaborate to save this San Francisco, Bay Area, and national treasure,” he added.
In parallel with the efforts to preserve Anchor Brewing Company, another remarkable initiative aims to bolster small businesses nationwide. Mario L. Castellanos, Founder & CEO, of the app “Mystery on Main Street” also shared his mission to revitalize local economies. “We’re a start-up seeking funding, but our mission is to bring business back to the locals by using mystery-themed storytelling and gamification with some augmented reality and AI thrown into the mix,” said Castellanos. He believes that small businesses are hurting nationwide and to counter this, his company plans on providing no-cost, month-long gameplays in cities and towns nationwide to launch their app with the goal of getting thousands of shoppers and players to visit small businesses.
In other efforts, organizations like Chambers of Commerce across the nation have introduced programs to assist small business remain open and to be successful. Rita McDonald, Chief Growth Officer of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, emphasized the importance of empowering small businesses within local communities. “By offering a diverse range of programs and resources, we create an ecosystem where small businesses thrive, bringing innovation and job opportunities to the region,” McDonald said. She went on to say that “Our members love the integrated approach that fosters collaboration across all sizes of enterprises, creating a connected business community that drives the Middle Tennessee economy forward.”
Other Chambers around the county are also introducing programs to assist these businesses. The Seattle Metro Chamber introduced the Community Business Connector (CBC) in 2022. This program works to ensure equitable economic recovery across business by working with “connectors” that help to provide business resources to sustain and grow local enterprises. The program facilitates the establishment of relationships with businesses encountering difficulties caused by linguistic, cultural, and geographic barriers, including economic repercussions resulting from COVID-19.
Collectively, these nationwide efforts are giving struggling business owners some hope. These initiatives have the power to be impactful and showcase the unwavering resilience of owners. They serve as crucial reminders to consumers of the importance of supporting local businesses to ensure their survival. Keeping money within the community positively impacts everyone, fostering a strong and thriving economy.
Jim Burkhart, Executive Director of Business Operations at FutureCommPR. Headquartered in San Francisco and New York, FutureCommPR provides PR services with a focus on small businesses and startups.