On July 30, Downtown Lynchburg Association held the first ever DOWNTOWN-A-THON, a 12-hour virtual event to raise money for the Downtown Recovery Initiative. The event was broadcast live on YouTube and Facebook from 9am – 9pm, and featured video content highlighting all facets of Downtown Lynchburg – interviews with business owners and local leaders, restaurant features, music performances, non-profit profiles, and more. Throughout production, we followed safety protocols established by the Virginia Department of Health at that time.
In between video segments, telethon hosts and co-hosts invited viewers to give generously to support downtown. The message to the audience was simple – the businesses that you love are struggling, and we need your help to keep them alive.
As an added incentive, each dollar up to $25,000 raised on the day of the event would be matched 1:1 by our generous corporate partners.
The funds raised during the event would be put toward the Downtown Recovery Initiative (DRI) – Downtown Lynchburg Association’s initiative to support small businesses as they worked to survive and recover from the economic effects of the pandemic. Those efforts have included:
• New Downtown Lynchburg Gift Card program
• Takeout Patios promoting local restaurant support
• Shopping events (in-person and online) to boost retail revenue
• At-cost PPE to downtown service workers
• Comprehensive market study to provide direction for business expansion/investment
• New public art installations to attract visitors
• Promotional campaigns to push the “support local” message
• Business support through communication and education
We are pleased to report that the community rallied around this cause. We exceeded our goal of $50,000, and the content we showed throughout the day introduced businesses and attractions to new audiences. It also served to galvanize citizens around a commitment to supporting local businesses through this unprecedented time.
Downtown Lynchburg Association