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September 21 and 22
2 days, 2 disciplines, 2 ways to participate – defining our professional roles and uniting to build more equitable, accessible and inspired communities.
The session leverages research undertaken before and during the pandemic on the characteristics and important role played in our communities by main streets and the independent businesses that characterize them. Both traditional main streets and suburban commercial strip plazas will be considered.
Highlights include a summary of the strengths, weaknesses, and key challenges faced by main street independent businesses before the pandemic and considers how COVID-19 has impacted them. The needs of BIPOC and newcomer-owned businesses are a specific focus.
Discussion highlights some of the key ways in which planning and economic development can work together to support main street independent businesses as our communities emerge from the pandemic. Examples will be included of particularly innovative “pivots” that have been successful and have demonstrated promise as ongoing initiatives to build main street independent business resilience in the future. Three Sixty Collective is continuing to actively work with clients and monitor recovery strategies through 2021, and the session will include the most current information possible that is relevant to the status of the pandemic come September 2021. Input from webinar participants about initiatives that are working in their communities also will be sought. The session also offers lessons learned and considerations for building a stronger future for main streets and independent businesses, including those owned by BIPOC and newcomers.