Birmingham Shopping District News & Notes
City COVID-19 Aid - BSD Small Business Fund Allocation
On Monday, May 11, the Birmingham City Commission approved economic assistance measures and operational initiatives to assist the community in the anticipated reopening of the State in the coming weeks. These initiatives are an initial step to mitigate the challenges residents and businesses will face in a new COVID environment.

To assist restaurants struggling with the financial difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City will temporarily waive fees for items such as outdoor dining platforms, liquor license renewal fees, temporary signage permits and more. The City will delay invoices and payments for sidewalk, street, water and sewer lateral special assessments. The City Commission also approved the following measures: dedicated curbside pick-up locations for restaurants and retailers; allowing businesses with indoor group classes to utilize City parks for an outdoor venue; and temporarily modifying outdoor dining areas to allow for greater social distancing.

Parking incentives approved through September 1, 2020 include free parking in the City’s parking structures and waiving fees for monthly permit holders for the same time period.
 
In conjunction with the City’s efforts to address the economic impacts of COVID-19, the Birmingham Shopping District (BSD) developed additional relief initiatives to assist downtown businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than $400,000 has been allocated toward construction and COVID relief efforts, such as: providing small business kits (masks, gloves, etc.), Back to Birmingham shopping and restaurant promotions, promotional videos highlighting Birmingham businesses, Quarantine Cash (randomly selected loyal shoppers will receive gift certificates to use at local restaurants and retailers), and more. 
Thanks for attending our virtual Merchant Meeting!

T hank you to those who attended our Virtual BSD Merchant Meetings in April and May. We provided an update on Maple Road construction, BSD updates related to our COVID-19 relief efforts, and a presentation on "30 day, 90 day, and 180 day business plans - how to lean in as a business during the COVID-19 pandemic." Slides from the meeting are attached here.
Birmingham "Quarantine Cash"
As part of our COVID relief efforts, the BSD has committed substantial marketing dollars to help promote shopping and dining at our downtown businesses. The BSD will be sending out "Birmingham Quarantine Cash" (electronic gift cards) to your loyal customers to incentivize them to shop and dine downtown. To participate, retailers and restaurants must:

1) Validate your business through our vendor, Yiftee. (This is the same provider the BSD uses for Birmingham Bucks gift cards. If you are already authorized to accept Birmingham Bucks gift cards, your business does NOT need to register again. For more information on how to register to accept BSD gift cards, visit our link here ).

2) Second, retailers and restaurants must submit to the BSD a list of email addresses of your top 10 loyal customers at this link by Friday, May 29th.

3) The BSD will email $50.00 of "Bham Quarantine Cash" to the customers you provided us. This "Quarantine Cash" can be used for purchases with participating businesses. Quarantine cash will expire July 31, 2020.
Birmingham "Buy & Fly, 5-minute Parking" Spaces
The BSD will be designating "Buy & Fly" parking spots throughout Birmingham's downtown area. These spaces will allow customers to make quick transactions with BSD businesses, such as collecting pick-up orders.

One "Buy & Fly" space will be placed in front of every open BSD restaurant, and then randomly throughout the city.
Small Business "Starter" Kits and PPE
The BSD is providing Small Business "Starter" Kits of P.P.E. to help your business as the downtown eventually reopens. Distribution of these kits will take place in a "drive through" format on Wednesday, May 27, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM in the back parking lot of city hall. Drive and enter into the city hall parking lot off of Henrietta St. (across from Shain Park). Our staff will place your kit in the back of your vehicle, and then cars may exit onto Pierce St.

Additionally, the BSD has compiled a list of resources to obtain P.P.E. for the convenience of our downtown businesses. The list includes vendors offering masks, antimicrobial disinfectants, and plexiglass guards for the safety of your staff and customers. Access the list here .
Crowd Funding for Birmingham Small Businesses
The Birmingham Shopping District created a crowdfunding website to raise funds for Personal Protective Equipment for Birmingham small businesses affected by the pandemic. This P.P.E. equipment will be supplied to service related businesses in the city such as our retailers, restaurants, salons, and spas. Oakland County Main Street will match up to $4,000 of funds raised on the site. If you are able to do so, please consider supporting our small businesses at  https://bit.ly/bhamrelieffund
Mark Your Calendar! DRIVE-THROUGH FARMERS MARKET!
The Birmingham Farmers Market  kicked off its 18th season on Sunday, May 3, 2020 with a different look and feel than normal. The Market will run every Sunday from 9:00 AM - 12 PM in a drive-through only format. Birmingham Farmers Market shoppers can expect to find Michigan-grown produce subject to Michigan growing patterns, plus beautiful spring floral arrangements, plants, baked goods, fresh locally raised shrimp, eggs, meat, and more. Cars will drive through Public Parking Lot 6 with exact change ($10 and $20 bills) to pick up baskets of fresh produce that will be placed into their vehicles. Visit  www.AllinBirmingham.com/FarmersMarket  for details.
Nominate a Birmingham Hometown Hero
While Maple Road receives important infrastructure upgrades this summer, the Birmingham Shopping District will highlight pictures of Birmingham hometown heroes on the construction barriers. As a tribute to local business owners, Birmingham residents, first responders, healthcare workers, grocery store associates, children raising money for good causes, etc. we'd like to highlight the positive stories developing out of this crisis. Click on this nomination form to submit your hometown hero.
Maple Road Reconstruction Updates
The project to transform Maple Road with new infrastructure and amenities began on April 27 with the installation of barriers that will maintain the walkway for pedestrians along the construction route. Maple Road will be closed to traffic on Thursday, April 30 and motorists will be routed on to detours. Download a map of  detour routes here . Maple Road’s sidewalks will remain open to pedestrian traffic.

In the coming weeks as quarantine restrictions are lifted and the business district re-opens, we will fully support the businesses along Maple Road just as we did during the successful Old Woodward project. With construction upon us, the City will provide weekly project updates. Sign up for the Maple Road Reconstruction Constant Contact group at www.bit.ly/bhamnews .
Send Your Good News and Images for
Social Media Promotion
Making masks for residents? Providing food to our healthcare providers? Share your good news or COVID-19 initiatives with the BSD. The BSD will help promote your business via social media! Simply e-mail a jpeg (product image or event info) to  info@ALLINBirmingham.com  and we'll help spread the word. Like or follow the Birmingham Shopping District on Facebook and via Twitter and Instagram (@bhamshopping).
Birmingham Shopping District, 151 Martin Street, 248-530-1200, www.ALLINBirmingham.com