Page 13 - BusinessWest February 17, 2021
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 Claudia Pazmany says one of her most important roles has been helping business owners navigate the grant system.
if you are a chamber member or not. If you need help and you cross our thresh- old, we will help you.”
While outdoor dining and takeout have enabled restau- rants to keep their doors open, the BID launched an effort
to do more, buy-
ing meals from local restaurants and giv- ing them to families in need. The effort began two months ago with the moniker December Dinner Delights and recently received funding to continue through April. Gould sees this as a win-win.
“We pay the res- taurants $1,500 twice a week to help them
sustain business, and we provide meals for fami- lies in our community,” she noted.
Another effort to support local business involves a gift-card program run by the chamber. Launched at the beginning of the holiday season, the gift cards can be redeemed at more than two dozen local businesses, from restaurants to a cat groomer. Pazmany said she has had to reorder cards to keep up with demand. “It works because
you are able to give someone a gift and, at the same time, support a small business; it’s the best type of reinvestment in our community.”
As for town-run programs, last spring, munici- pal leaders had to figure out what to do about
the farmers’ market it runs every Saturday from April through November. In the past, it was held
difference if you are a chamber member or not. If you need help and you cross our threshold, we will help you.”
in a cramped parking lot that would not conform to social-distancing protocols. Because the town common had no activities scheduled, the farm- ers’ market set up there — and had its most suc- cessful year ever.
“Our town common is a bucolic setting, and people who were cooped up all week could safely come and buy things,” Bockelman said. The manager of the farmers’ market reported the average sales week in 2020 equaled the best sales week in 2019, and the booths sold out of their products every week.
The farmers’ market was a highly visible way to revitalize interest in Amherst, as are continu-
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Right now, it makes no
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One of the more important roles Pazmany and Gould have taken on involves helping busi- ness owners navigate the grant system. Whether it’s identifying eligible funding, helping to fill out forms, or solving technical issues, Pazmany said they are not limiting their support to just cham- ber members. “Right now, it makes no difference
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