Mayor Miro Weinberger and Local Leaders Encourage Safe Participation in Local Economy this Holiday Season

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 4, 2020
Contact: Olivia LaVecchia
(802) 734-0617

Mayor Miro Weinberger and Local Leaders Encourage Safe Participation in Local Economy this Holiday Season

Burlington, VT – Burlington's locally owned businesses face an existential threat as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Today, Mayor Miro Weinberger and local leaders urged Burlingtonians who are able to to participate in the local economic recovery from Covid-19, and consider ways to safely patronize the downtown stores and restaurants during the holiday season.

“The public health crisis of this pandemic remains our top priority,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “At the same time, I am gravely concerned about the accompanying economic crisis that has disrupted the lives and livelihoods of so many. I will continue to call for the federal aid that is critically necessary. I also want to urge Burlingtonians to meaningfully contribute to our recovery by seeking out local businesses for safe shopping and dining options. Our locally owned businesses and the people who they employ are an important part of what makes us a vibrant, healthy, and distinctive community, and I encourage everyone to consider ways to help them get through this challenging time.”

There are three key ways to safely support Burlington businesses:

  • In-person shopping: Many businesses remain open for carefully regulated in-person shopping, with capacity limits, face coverings, and other precautions in place in line with the Governor’s orders.
  • Takeout, curbside pickup, and home delivery: Burlington businesses have used the last nine months to transform their offerings and expand alternatives to in-person shopping, and many now offer takeout, curbside pickup, and home delivery. The City has created a website at www.loveburlington.org, updated daily, that allows people to filter by a range of pickup and delivery options, business characteristics, and other criteria.
  • Winter markets: The City has organized three upcoming winter markets to create a space to showcase local artists’ and businesses’ wares in a safe outdoor setting. The markets will take place in City Hall Park and will be run will strict health and safety protocols in place, including one-directional traffic, capacity limits, booths spaced six feet apart, and two people per booth at a time. Vendors will stay warm in open-air booths designed and installed by Generator and BCA, with support from Northfield Savings Bank. Learn more about the markets at the links below:

This holiday season, the City and businesses also have reimagined the attractions on Church Street. Those looking for activities to do with their household can mail letters to Santa via the magical North Pole mailboxes in two location on Church Street, enjoy the holiday window contest, and visit the Top Block Christmas Tree and lights.

Burlington’s locally owned businesses, from the downtown to neighborhood corridors, are treasures of the city. They provide livelihoods for many residents of Burlington, give the city an important part of its distinctive character, offer unique and personal goods and services, and multiply the local impact of every dollar they earn by recirculating it to other locally owned businesses. On Church Street alone, seventy percent of the stores and restaurants are locally owned. These businesses that are owned by and employ many in our community need the support of the entire region during this challenging time.

At a small, outdoor press conference in City Hall Park, Mayor Weinberger was joined by Kara Alnasrawi, the City’s Director of the Church Street Marketplace and Director of Business Support; Doreen Kraft, Director of Burlington City Arts; Mark Bouchette, owner of Homeport; and Chiuho Sampson, owner of A Single Pebble.

"It is so important to remember that these business owners and their employees are our neighbors and friends,” said Kara Alnasrawi, the City’s Director of the Church Street Marketplace and Director of Business Support. “Our economy is driven by us, which means that we can save our community and ensure that it remains vibrant and healthy long after this pandemic is over. These next few weeks are a crucial time for our local businesses. There are safe and contactless ways to support our local economy and I urge all in Burlington and our surrounding communities to take advantage of them.”

 “Vermont artists, makers, and small businesses are among those who have been hardest hit by the pandemic,” said Doreen Kraft. “These painters, woodworkers, potters, and designers need our support now more than ever. I am so thrilled that the BCA Holiday Artist Market and Love Burlington Winter Markets can provide a safe, creative way for them to reach customers during a challenging holiday season. These artists and businesses represent the backbone of Vermont's creative economy; if we want them to be there for us later, we need to be there for them now.”

# # #

Press Release Date: 
12/04/2020
City Department: 
Mayor's Office