GTPulse: Traverse City Promotes Local, Downtown Businesses Through Shop Small Shop Safe Challenge

Staying afloat means something different to everyone lately. That could mean staying on top of your workload, your mental health, finances, and if you’re a business owner it means not losing your business. The community continues to come together for each other and the Traverse City Downtown Development Authority is doing its part to help downtown businesses with a Shop Small Shop Safe challenge created to help out the local businesses that are being impacted by COVID-19.

“It’s been a fine line of promoting all of these businesses through the challenge while trying to keep people safe. Safety is the utmost importance for the community,” Colleen Paveglio, marketing and communications director for the Traverse City DDA said.

To keep people safe and control the spread of COVID-19 the DDA has worked in complete compliance with Governor Whitmer’s Stay Home Stay Safe order. Many restaurants are still open in downtown Traverse City for curbside takeout orders.

“When the closure of public locations, restaurants and bars happened we immediately acted on that and bagged 26 or 28 meters downtown. It’s a way to make parking super easy for quick trips and pickups.”

The bagged meters are on East Front Street. Although other meters downtown aren’t bagged, Traverse City is not enforcing parking meter times at the moment, and the hope is that employees will leave the bagged meters open for customers coming and going.

Some of the downtown businesses have decided to close for the time being, but many others are still pressing on. To be fair to all downtown businesses across the board, the Shop Small Shop Safe challenge is encouraging online gift card purchases.

“It’s worth calling the business or emailing the business if they don’t have an online store set up.”

To add incentive and support to the downtown businesses the DDA is offering people who spend $50 in gift cards at downtown businesses $10 gift certificates to use at any downtown business. 

To support your local community and to claim your $10 gift certificate, post your receipts on social media and tag Downtown TC, or email

“Small businesses are really being hit hard by this and we’re trying to put dollars into their hands immediately. This will end someday. I know people really enjoy downtown, and gift certificates are a great way to be able to support local businesses now and enjoy them later when this is all over.”

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Categories: GTPulse