BOISE, Idaho — On a normal month, downtown Boise would be extremely crowded this upcoming Thursday. People hit the streets, shops and galleries for the Downtown Boise Association's first Thursday event. Normally everybody stays open late and offers specials for customers who make their way through the door.
However, under the COVID-19 rules, small businesses are getting creative to stay afloat. The DBA is encouraging shops to put on a virtual First Thursday, where patrons can engage with local businesses online rather than in public.
“First Thursday is a beloved downtown event and we wanted to make sure to continue this event in a safe, fun way.” Jennifer Hensley, DBA Executive Director stated. “The downtown business community is endlessly creative and has come up with many avenues to enjoy their offerings. We’re excited to highlight these in a virtual event.”
Retailers are setting up online stores, Etsy shops and even making owners and managers available remotely via Skype, FaceTime or phone. The hope is customers will support local businesses when a time that the smallest gesture could make a real difference down the road.
The DBA will also host a Facebook post on Thursday evening during the event’s typical 5 to 9p.m. time slot asking the public to comment how they are partaking in the event for a chance to win a $50 Downtown Boise gift card. Downtown businesses who wish to participate should add their event to the DBA website or email the DBA at email@example.com. For a full list of April's First Thursday listings, click here.
And as you find ways to support your local businesses, share your photos and stories with us at #OpenTreasureValley and #TakeOutTuesdayTV. Because now more than ever, we all need to be open. Open to new ways of thinking, open to new ways of gathering, and open to new ways of supporting each other. If you want to submit your local business to possibly get featured on KIVI, click here.