#Always Andersonville: The Podcast – Show Notes from Episode 103 with Ways to Support Andersonville During COVID-19

Today, Laura, Joelle and Sara are recording #AlwaysAndersonville: The Podcast via Zoom. Like so many businesses, the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce is working remotely due to the mandated shelter in place order and finding new ways to engage in current technology to ensure our messages reach you in an efficient and timely fashion. Although we do not have a new business story to share with you today, we did want to provide you with a quick update on staying active in Andersonville during this time of uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sara shares, “At the core of the Chamber’s mission is our support of the small business community that makes Andersonville so special and so strong. This is definitely an unprecedented moment and an uncertain time for small business owners. Small business owners are creative, they’re generous, and extremely resilient. This podcast was created to help tell their stories. However, COVID-19’s impact is going to be unlike anything we have ever seen. Our updates from the Chamber, have been geared toward ways you can support and help sustain our beloved small business community – now and in the days to come, so that this community is here in many years to come. We commonly say when you arrive in Andersonville, you feel you’ve arrived someplace special. And that warm, special vibe – it didn’t happen overnight. It took many years of hard work to create a district anchored by independently owned businesses, to get Andersonville on the national historic register as a historic district, to build our streetscape, to start our farmer’s market. The list goes on. As we entered the year 2020 as Chamber staff, we had worked on setting some goals of sustaining the hard work and achievements of the past few years, while also planning long-term for the future of our district. And although it will be a long road ahead with many unknowns we believe that this community is up to the task. Andersonville was created by local business owners, by mom and pop property owners who above their business or just a few streets away, by residents, by customers who have stayed engaged and invested in this special place for many years, through hard seasons. So, we want to send this messaging – that these goals of our Chamber staff and Board, to the community at large. Please stay engaged, active, and invested in this special place and help us sustain what has been achieved and stay engaged in the work that lies ahead.” 

Daily updates can be found on our landing page at andersonville.org/updates. Here you will find the latest information on Andersonville restaurant delivery and pick-up options, ways to support our retailers and health and wellness service providers, non profits, and the relief funds set up via GoFundMe and other similar platforms. We update this page daily, but welcome feedback and updates at info@andersonville.org

The Andersonville Weekly is a great way to connect with the local business community. It is a highly-curated e-blast that sends every Tuesday around 5pm, containing highlights of the district. The past two weeks have featured free online workout classes, restaurant specials, and special offerings for the Easter/Passover holidays, along with community support highlights including ways to engage and provide for our local healthcare workers at Swedish Hospital. To subscribed, please visit andersonville.org/newsletter. Or, email info@andersonville.org. We’ll get you signed up!

Another fun way to stay engage is our #AlwaysAndersonville: Digital Passport, with coloring passport sheet! Be sure to play and be entered to win local gift cards. A spin off of our holiday season shop local, this passport is all-digital. You can stay active in Andersonville without leaving your house, and give our businesses a much needed virtual boost to amplify their own online messaging. The Passports reiterate our “5 Ways to Love a Local Business.” There are 3 different colorways, and ready to be uploaded to your IG story or Facebook/Twitter. Printable Coloring pages are geared for little ones, but fun for everyone. You can find the passport on our website, and the digital passport is located in a highlight of our Instagram account, @avillechamber. What’s the best thing you’ve seen from your window?!

5 Ways to Love Local Business
1. Shop the Site: Now is a great time to see what retail offers from the comfort of your couch!
2. Love, Like, and Share: What do you love about Andersonville, what businesses do you frequent, and why do you keep returning? Now is that time to show these businesses some love in your social media feeds! Tag the business, tag us, and tag a friend who should check it out in the future. Like their posts and be sure to leave a comment.
3. Order Direct from restaurants and cafes, via apps or a quick phone call!
4. Use Your Voice: Catch up on reviewing your favorite shops, eateries, and healthcare providers with positive reviews. Check out 48th Ward Wellness Wednesdays!
5. Andersonville is Active: We cannot stress enough; Andersonville is still open and active in many online and digital ways, and purchasing a gift card directly from your favorite businesses, or following any of our other four tips, directly supports them during this difficult time. For example, telehealth options via online appointments. 

IGTV Series: Saved by the Watertower
A-la Saved by the Bell! We don’t have a catchy tune, but consider this an open call for all you at home who might like to write a theme song or music video! IGTV is another vehicle for our business owners to tell their stories. We’re following the example of Ridman’s Coffee, Elixir, and Martha Mae. Olin on Olin Sells Chicago does episodes on how to shop for your future home. Be sure to catch Scott Freeman @dancingjeweler from Bryn Mawr Jeweler dancing! Alley Cat Comics also features ordering every day on IGTV. Stay tuned for next week for a self care routine.

In addition to all of this, staff is working behind the scenes to provide daily email alerts to our businesses about relief resources available, like loans and grants, and advocating for certain areas where the relief is not serving our small business owners well. If you are a small business owner, and have questions for our team, please reach out to info@andersonville.org. Additionally, we have a list of all GoFundMe’s and online campaigns to help raise money for our local businesses, be sure to check out that page here

There has never been a better time to catch up on #AlwaysAndersonville: The Podcast! With more than 100 episodes in our archive, discover the stories of our beloved Andersonville establishments or revisit a favorite episode. You can find it on Podbean, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts. Thank you for joining us for this special episode. Please continue to visit our website at andersonville.org/updates for the latest information. And, stay home, stay engaged, stay connected and stay Always Andersonville.