This week the Downtown Spokane Partnership (DSP) began an outreach effort of “wellness calls” to business owners to assess how it can continue to further support them amid the ongoing COVID-19 closures.
The DSP serves as Spokane’s central city advocate and service provider, dedicated to enhancing the quality and vitality of downtown Spokane. The DSP accomplishes its mission through a variety of means to advocate for businesses to ensure downtown’s continued success.
“We’re checking in because downtown businesses matter to us,” says DSP President, Mark Richard. “It’s more important than ever that we continue to actively engage with our local businesses currently fighting through such adverse conditions.”
These “wellness calls” will be made to each and every business possible within the Business Improvement District, the specific area DSP formally serves. The calls will be made by DSP Clean and Safe Team members. While these teams have continued to maintain a presence patrolling downtown seven days a week during the “shelter at home” order, many of the staff have elected to remain home in the best interest of the health and safety of themselves and loved ones. The wellness calls provide an opportunity for these team members to continue serve downtown in its time of need while respecting best practices of social distancing.
Through these calls, DSP hopes to obtain a range of information, including how the business has been impacted by the COVID-19 situation and how its operations have had to subsequently adjust. The responses will be compiled to assess any trends currently affecting downtown businesses and to formulate new resources and strategies to provide them further aid.
“Our hope is not just that these businesses are able to keep their doors open in some capacity during this time,” says Richard, “but that they are also able and ready to thrive again as we eventually begin the transition back to normalcy.”
In addition, members of the Ratepayer Advisory Board, a volunteer board of peer businesses in downtown, have stepped up to make calls. “Hearing from another business who might be in the same situation is an important step,” says Board Chair and Director of Riverfront Park, Jonathan Moog. “Outreach and supporting each other as a community counts by building resiliency and hope.”