Executive Director Update: Hold on tight, Get ready to reopen

Hold on Tight.


Illustration by Barbara Kelly for The Wall Street Journal

We are not all in the same boat. But we are in the same storm.

-Damian Barr

It’s been two months since this started. A crazy two months. At the BBA we know that every one of our members has difficult decisions to make every day. We know that the future looks foggy and sometimes bleak. Everything feels different, even the great weather this weekend is about to bring feels different. Wanna talk about it – give me a call, Kelly 802-324-2748


The BBA is still working, our ranks are smaller, but we are still working for you. (current BBA staff status is listed below). Here are some projects in the works and how you can get involved.


#1 Online Shopping 

We used our online auction portal (btvauction.org) to help businesses move spring inventory and connect with customers on-line. Special thanks to our partners Seven Days, the Church Street Marketplace, and CEDO, and our sponsors Pomerleau Real Estate and Brookfield Properties.

Results: $13k raised and nearly $17k in the hands of local retailers. 100,000 people reached and 700 bidders from as far away as CA and TX.

We plan to repeat this online sale for Father’s Day.


You: If you are a retailer or restauranteur we can pay you to participate.


#2 City and State Policy 

We are keeping an eye on policy as it’s made at both the city and state levels. Look for our email next week with an update on policies that impact you. The four most important ones of this week (with links to more information) are:


You: Read our future communications and speak up if you have concerns or want to voice support of these policies.


#3 Parking and Transportation Programs

Parking and Transportation programs must adapt to match the needs of downtown in this new reality. We are working on this but we need your input. Have ideas, questions or concerns about parking and transportation downtown. Email Alex by Tuesday, May 26th to let him know. Remember, these programs are funded by the Downtown Improvement District Tax which must be used for parking and transportation programs by city charter.


#4 Frontline Foods Vermont 

I continue to volunteer for Frontline Foods Vermont. In the past month we’ve raised over $150,000 and spent over $60,000 at local restaurants who have served nearly 4,000 meals to frontline workers. Special shout out to People’s United Bank and Pomerleau Real Estate and Farrell Distributing for their support and generous donations. We’re expanding, including a gift card program. Want to learn more contact me: Kelly Devine – 802-324-2748 or email. Or sign up at Frontline Foods Vermont.