D2U Newsletter - March 18, 2020
Curbside Service & Ideas on Supporting Local Businesses
Downtown Morganton

Businesses in Downtown Morganton are adjusting to new operational regulations required by an executive order issued Tuesday by Gov. Roy Cooper in response to the spread of COVID-19. This executive order means no dine-in customers are allowed at restaurants and bars in North Carolina. As Morganton’s downtown businesses always do, they are finding new ways to best serve customers.

Restaurants have begun participating in curbside pickup operations. Signage for designated curbside pickup areas have been placed throughout Downtown Morganton. Customers can call their favorite restaurant, place an order, and then drive up to these designated areas to pick up their order. Customers are required to call ahead to pick up an order using these areas.

Social distancing and refraining from being in crowded areas is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Luckily, there are many ways you can continue to support all of our downtown businesses even without going inside.

  1. Shop online or via phone. Several downtown businesses have online shopping available, and many of our shops will be able help you get what you need via phone or other methods, if necessary.
  2. If you do not need anything specific at the moment but still want to support local, buy gift cards to spend later. Many of our shops, restaurants, salons, and other service providers offer this option.
  3. For restaurants, call ahead and order takeout or delivery and tip at least the same amount as you would dining in. Downtown businesses are offering call ahead, curb side pickup with convenient drive thru lanes marked.
  4. Leave positive reviews for your favorite small businesses on Google, Facebook, TripAdvisor, or Yelp.
  5. Buy digital products, gift cards, subscriptions, or memberships.
  6. Purchase custom or corporate gifts from retailers who can handle orders over the phone or online.
  7. If you typically order wholesale products with local retailers later in the year, place your orders now.
  8. Share this info so others know how to help, too.

Downtown Morganton businesses and organizations are taking extra steps to ensure their spaces are clean and safe for customers. Please follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and local public health officials regarding social distancing and proper health etiquette when visiting businesses and public spaces, including maintaining six feet of distance from others, not shaking hands, and staying home if you feel unwell.

First and foremost, prioritize all health and safety precautions for yourself and others in our community. Our community health as a whole depends on collaboration, and our small businesses are the lifeblood of the local economy. We want to make sure they continue to stay successful while maintaining appropriate public health safety measures.

The safety of the residents, workers, and visitors in Downtown Morganton is of the utmost importance to us here at the Main Street Office. The first priority for everyone is to take appropriate steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 and make sure the people of our community remain healthy. We are monitoring all recommendations and updates from government officials surrounding COVID-19, and we will continue to inform our community of relevant changes.

During this time of adjustments in social events, work schedules, and travel, we encourage you to remember our many small businesses in Downtown Morganton and throughout our community and to continue supporting them even if you cannot visit them physically. Please visit our website at www.downtownmorganton.com for a list of online shopping options, call ahead with curbside pick-up locations, closures, cancellations, special offers, and public service announcements. Call the Main Street office at 828-438-5252 for assistance or if you have any questions.

List of Dining establishments in downtown offering call ahead, curbside pickup. Please visit their business Facebook accounts for more detailed information as well as phone numbers and updates.
Here's an opportunity for something you can do from the comfort of your own home:
I made myself a snowball
As perfect as could be.
I thought I'd keep it as a pet
And let it sleep with me.
I made it some pajamas
And a pillow for its head.
Then last night it ran away,
But first it wet the bed.
By Shel Silverstein 

So many of us are sheltered at home and if you have kids the day to day challenge of being a parent, entertainer, chief bottle washer and teacher, might be getting the best of you. But in those moments of clarity maybe you can channel some of that energy into some creative writing!  

The Morganton Main Street office has partnered with Angela Shores, owner of Adventure Bound Books to promote poetry as a part of National Poetry Month, a celebration of poetry which takes place each April.   As a part of the promotion we are announcing a Poetry Contest for all ages. Winning poems will be displayed in various forms throughout downtown during future events.  For this April 2020, poetry will be spread throughout downtown in surprising places and forms offering an opportunity for people to be exposed to poetry and the literary arts.

Writers of all ages are invited to submit poetry for our inaugural Celebrating Poetry Writing Contest with the theme of Nature’s Playground. The Poetry Contest seeks to celebrate the undeniable magic of words and the beauty of poetry. There will be cash prizes for the top 3 winners. The entry fee is $5 and poets of all ages are invited to submit their work.  

Registration and Entry Period - March 1-March 31, 2020. Judging Period - April 1 - 25, 2020
Public Announcement of Winners - April 30, 2020  * All submissions must be made by 11:59pm EST on March 31, 2020.

Based on judges’ scoring, three poems will be selected and designated as 1st place, 2nd place, and 3rd place poems. All poems, regardless of participants’ age, will be judged in the same category with only three winning poems selected.  
1st Place Winner - $500
2nd Place Winner - $250
3rd Place Winner - $125

The Celebrating Poetry Writing Contest is an online poetry contest. Registration and all submissions for judging must be submitted online. In-person registrations and submissions are not accepted. Participants must create a free account with Submittable, the online contest submission platform.  
Poems can take any form (examples include, but are not limited to, couplets, free verse, rhymed poetry, sonnets, haiku, narrative) and should address the contest theme. The 2020 inaugural contest theme is Nature’s Playground.  
Individuals wishing to participate will register for the contest, pay the entry fee, and submit their poem at the same time. The deadline to do so is March 31, but may be done as soon as the writer has completed their poem and is ready to submit it for judging. Judging will take place after April 1st, so early submission does not grant favor by reviewers. Therefore, be sure to take your time and submit your best work.
Judges will be individuals from the community who are published poets, writing and English literature educators, librarians, scholars, and community leaders. Judges will review all submissions for (1) connection to contest theme, (2) technical content (grammar, spelling, punctuation), and (3) overall message conveyed.

All information on the contest can be found at https://www.adventureboundbooks.com/celebrating-poetry-contest
Thank you for your support!

The Morganton Main Street Office would like to thank each business and participant of the Saturday, March 14th Luck of the Irish FAB Crawl. The retail promotion was a huge success. We look forward to the next one.

Drawings for the FAB Crawl will be made on Thursday, March 19th. Winners will be announced on the Downtown Morganton Facebook page . Winners will also be notified by phone.
Thank you!
Email your downtown news to info@downtownmorganton.com