Dec 20, 2020
518 Craft owner Jeremy Cowan welcomes Alias Coffee and Primo Botanica to 200 Broadway in downtown Troy.
TROY, N.Y. – The challenges of 2020 have impacted businesses across the Capital Region in ways that are many and ongoing. With the new year almost here, local small business owners are looking ahead and hoping things will get better.
Looking ahead with them is the Downtown Troy Business Improvement District, which worked hard to support city businesses during these difficult times.
“2020 was an extremely difficult year for small businesses and as we look to 2021 we encourage our community to support our downtown businesses throughout the winter months and beyond,” said Katie Hammon, the executive director of Downtown Troy BID.
Hammon knows that a key factor to the success of small businesses is community support. During the holiday season, she – along with Troy Mayor Patrick Madden and Rensselaer County Chamber President Kate Manley – pushed hard to encourage people to shop small and shop local, giving businesses the support they needed to keep their doors open.
Hammon says there are several things the BID will do to continue supporting Troy businesses.
“This includes showcasing our businesses, business owners, and their staff, helping our community understand how they can engage with our members and what it means to support local,” she said. “We will also offer opportunities for businesses less affected by the pandemic to support their neighbors through marketing efforts.
“We will continue to offer opportunities for our members to learn and connect, and resources to assist businesses in connecting with funding, staying up to date with state and federal guidelines, utilizing online platforms, and growing their social engagement.”
For the time being, until the pandemic is under control, many of those opportunities will have to be virtual ones. Hammon says at some point things will go back to in-person meetings and workshops, but right now that “some point” is unknown. Until then, there is plenty of online and social media programming, both available and in the works, to help businesses grow.
“We are unsure when larger scale in-person programming can return, but we look to engage our community both virtually and in-person in 2021,” Hammon said. “This includes Facebook Live programming and social takeovers, public art and performance initiatives in the warmer months, paired with outdoor dining and quality of life programming.”
The BID also has plans in place to continue doing what they can to make Troy the best place it can be to shop, dine, and explore.
“We will continue our beautification efforts to keep our sidewalks clean, plant new trees and provide beautiful flowers adding to the vibrancy of our downtown,” said Hammon. “We also work closely with the City of Troy and our local community partners to advance projects and initiatives making our downtown more welcoming and inclusive, and connect with our state and local leaders as a champion of our small business community.”
The BID is working on developing specific goals for Troy in 2021, including planting ten trees as part of the “Raise. Plant. Grow.” initiative and increasing engagement within the “Learn. Connect. Grow.” program series, which Hammon says is a good way to recruit new businesses to downtown.
She hopes to see the BID strengthen its collaborations with community partners “to advance business recovery, tourism, and DEI initiatives,” and raise awareness and support for “businesses owned by persons of color.”
Hammon is optimistic that the new year will be full of new opportunities, and hopefully, those opportunities will be improved by pandemic relief.
“With many individuals relocating to Troy and businesses looking to open in 2021, we are hopeful for the new year and look forward to the time when we can safely gather again to celebrate our resilient community,” she said.