The Gloucester community demonstrated their support for local small businesses by purchasing more than $45,000 in Downtown Dollars, an economic recovery program lead by the Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust with additional support from the Gloucester Main Street Association.
“We wanted to find a way to make it easy for consumers to purchase gift certificates to Main Street restaurants, retail shops, service providers — like spas — in a time when these businesses needed stimulus like never before,” said Jenny Crittenden, Executive Director of Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust, in a recent interview with the Gloucester-Mathews Gazette-Journal.
Success has consequences. The funds set aside for the initial Downtown Dollars program have been depleted. But don’t despair! Officials are hard at work defining next steps.
The innovative Downtown Dollars program is just one example of how communities and small businesses across the nation are responding to the adverse economic impact of a 100-year pandemic. Many businesses are overcoming the challenges of COVID restrictions by putting more emphasis on their online outlets, providing curbside delivery, or by appointment only shopping excursions.
Many organizers of traditional holiday events are also recasting their activities to address community gathering safety protocols.
Gloucester Arts on Main is hosting a First Friday Artful Giving and Small Works event on Friday, December 4. Only 25 people may shop for one-of-a-kind handcrafted items and small works during a defined timeslot. Patrons must reserve their spot in advance of the event.
The Mathews Bay School Community Arts Center 100 x 100 Show in the Art Speaks Gallery is open through December 26. All artwork by area artists is $100 or less and may be previewed and purchased online. The Bay School also hosts an annual fundraiser for the Hands Across Mathews Interfaith Service Council, a nonprofit organization that helps local families with basic needs in times of crisis. Traditionally, the Empty Bowls fundraising event featured a sit-down soup luncheon. However, for 2020, they took a different tack. Artisan bowls are selling for $100 each with the proceeds benefiting Hands Across Mathews.
Other upcoming local events:
Zoll Vineyards, 9744 Dutton Road, Dutton (located on Route 198 on the Gloucester/Mathews county line)
Register for a “Drink your wine. We have crafts to do.” Guided Craft Night is offered Friday evenings from 6-8:00 PM, December 4, 11, and 18. Or you and a date can take one of Zoll Vineyards’ popular cooking classes. Learn how to make three different kinds of pasta on Thursday, December 10, or gingerbread cookies on December 17. Class size is limited, so register soon. The Tasting Room is open Wednesday-Sunday, 12 Noon-8:00 PM.
YRC Cinemas, York River Crossing Shopping Center, 2226 York Crossing Drive, Hayes
For family fun that won’t break the bank, take in a classic holiday movie for only $5 through December 25.
Gloucester Moose Lodge, 656 Moose Drive, Gloucester
The Gloucester Moose Lodge is hosting a youth musical production of “A Seussified Christmas Carol” December 12 and 13. The proceeds from this event will benefit the Annual Christmas Dinner for the Homeless, Homebound and First Responders. Tickets may be purchased on site.
All event information is accurate at the time of publication. But please call ahead to confirm. Schedules continue to be fluid during the health crisis.
TheBuckStaysHere.com, powered by Chesapeake Bank, is a local online resource of more than 400 small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Membership is FREE, so register your business or nonprofit today. Now, more than ever, it’s essential to support local small businesses. They are the backbone of our economy. You can help them survive and thrive by buying gifts, dining, and using the services of local establishments. So, please, put “helping our local economy” on your Christmas list.