Old Town Merchants and Residents Association
June 2020 Newsletter
In this Issue:
  • Message from the Executive Director
  • OTMRA May Events Recap
  • OTMRA Community Discussion
  • Virtual Industry Meet-Ups
  • Sales Start Friday: Get Dad the Perfect Old Town Gift!
  • Virtual Paint & Sip with Art on Sedgwick
  • Phase 3 Reopening Guidelines for Chicago Businesses
  • Back to Work Safely Guidelines
  • BACP Workshop Webinars
  • Support Local Old Town Non-Profits
  • Support Old Town Service Industry Workers
  • COVID-19 Resources
  • Old Town SSA 48 Digital Marketing Rebate Program
Message from
the Executive Director
Much has changed over the past 48 hours for Chicago and for Old Town. Today, our neighborhood is preparing itself on two fronts. The Old Town Merchants and Residents Association and SSA 48 Old Town are working tirelessly to address immediate concerns around the George Floyd Protests and COVID-19. We have been in close contact with the City of Chicago on ways to support our businesses through this difficult time and to prepare to safely re-open the neighborhood as we move into Phase 3.

SSA 48 Old Town's private security team is staying in contact with the Chicago Police Department so we are up to date on all the latest developments as protests continue on in the coming weeks. Our Association and SSA 48 Old Town also are developing support programs for our businesses as we move forward with re-opening Old Town this summer. The safety of employees and patrons is a chief concern for our organization and we will ensure that we welcome everyone back to our neighborhood with that in mind.

Our neighborhood is a strong, vibrant destination in Chicago that has always believed that all people from all walks of life are welcome here. We will keep that guiding principle with us as we move Old Town forward together.

Please welcome our new member!
Gallucci Pizzeria Napoletana


Ian M. Tobin
Events Recap: May
Throughout May, the Old Town Merchants and Residents Association provided resources to businesses and residents, as well as opportunities for community engagement.

The OTMRA offered several virtual opportunities to connect with other Old Town residents through the Wine, Whine, and Unwind virtual networking series. Participants conversed and connected while consuming their drink of choice.

Additionally, the OTMRA provided several business-focused webinars
focusing on relevant issues business owners are currently facing. The OTMRA hosted a COVID-19 Crisis Management panel featuring experts addressing best practice and how to best prepare for reopening, as well as a Brand Experience and Marketing webinar that explained how best to tell your story in difficult or trying times.

Lastly, the OTMRA encouraged neighborhood spending through sales of a Mother's Day Gift Pack . The program was so successful that the OTMRA will be featuring a similar Father's Day Gift Pack for sale this June (read more below).

The OTMRA will continue to bring businesses and the community together. In June, the OTMRA will continue to partner with businesses to present a series of virtual webinars, programs, and events. Read more about these opportunities below.

During this time, the OTMRA also wants to be a resource for businesses and residents in the neighborhood. OTMRA staff created guides to connect people with resources available to the neighborhood. Click to access the  Small Business Guide  and the  Resident Guide .

OTMRA Community Discussion
In light of the events of the past weekend, the OTMRA is hosting a community discussion Friday June 5 at 10AM. This virtual event is free and open to all Old Town residents. Access the Community Discussion Registration link and Zoom Link here.

Please reach out to OTMRA@oldtownchicago.org with any questions.
OTMRA Virtual
Industry Meet-Ups
As a resource for businesses and residents in the Old Town neighborhood, the OTMRA will host several Virtual Industry Meet-Up sessions throughout June. These virtual meetups are a platform for in-depth conversations between businesses, and are open to all merchants in Old Town.

Virtual Industry Meet-Up Schedule:

Restaurants :
Tuesday June 2 at 2 PM
Zoom Link  , Meeting ID:  842 0685 4840
Dial-In:   +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

Health & Wellness :
Thursday June 4 at 10 AM
Zoom Link  , Meeting ID:   873 4811 4280
Dial-In:   +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

Retail :
Tuesday June 9 at 10 AM
Zoom Link  , Meeting ID:   897 9452 1135
Dial-In:   +1 312 626 6799 (Chicago)

Non-Profit :
Thursday June 11 at 2 PM
Zoom Link  , Meeting ID:  825 0557 8606   
Dial-In:   +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

Professional Service & Hospitality :
Tuesday June 16 at 2 PM
Zoom Link  , Meeting ID:  870 2904 1897   
Dial-In:   +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

Please contact Rachel Rubinson (rrubinson@oldtownchicago.org) with any questions about Virtual Industry meetups.
Sales Start June 5:
Get Dad the Perfect
Old Town Gift!
Father's Day is around the corner!
Buy an Old Town Father’s Day Gift Pack and treat Dad to some of your favorite neighborhood products.
Virtual Paint & Sip with
Art on Sedgwick
Join the OTMRA and Art on Sedgwick for a Virtual Paint & Sip on Saturday, June 13! Learn watercolor painting techniques while exploring this classic piece of lost Chicago art. This is an online class via zoom. No art experience necessary. We'll provide all the tips you need to succeed - even if this is your first painting. A supply packet that includes everything you need for the painting is available for pick-up from Art on Sedgwick's studio (1408 N Sedgwick) or at the OMTRA office (1543 N Wells St, Lower Level). The class is offered on a donation basis. Pay whatever you can.
Phase III Reopening Survey for Restaurants
As Chicago begins to enter Phase 3 in its recovery from COVID-19, Restaurants are now able to offer extended services. This form is for Old Town restaurants to communicate how consumers can purchase goods from your business. The results from this survey will be used to create "Open for Business in Old Town" graphics posted to OTMRA social media.
Phase III Reopening Guidelines for Chicago Businesses
As Chicago prepares to enter phase three of the reopening process on Wednesday June 3, take note of the reopening guidelines that vary by industry here.

From the City of Chicago's website:
Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, alongside the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), industry leaders, labor leaders, and public officials, have developed industry-specific guidelines for safely operating within Phase III: Cautiously Reopen. These guidelines are part of the city’s Be Safe Chicago framework that will be used to guide Chicago’s reopening process amid COVID-19.
Within Phase III, the following industries are opening first with specific safety guidelines:
  • Childcare centers and family childcare
  • Non-lakefront parks (no contact sports)
  • Libraries and other city services
  • Office-based jobs, professional services, and real estate services
  • Hotels / lodging
  • Outdoor attractions (e.g., boating – not including the Playpen, non-Lakefront golf courses)
  • Non-essential retail
  • Personal services (e.g., hair/nail salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors)
  • Restaurants and coffee shops (outdoor dining only)
  • Manufacturing, construction, and warehousing
  • Hospitals, dentists, community mental health centers, and Federally Qualified Health Centers
  • Public transit, regional transit, taxis and rideshare
  • Gyms (outdoor and 1:1 personal training only)
Aligned with the State of Illinois but tailored to Chicago’s context, these guidelines advise employers and residents of Chicago on how to cautiously exit from shelter-in-place while continuing to prioritize the health of our most vulnerable residents. Please reference the materials on this page to help cautiously guide your businesses and employees during Phase III: Cautiously Reopen.

Additionally, BACP will be hosting a series of webinars to prepare Chicago businesses for reopening under Phase 3 of the Protecting Chicago Framework. See the schedule of webinars below or access them via the BACP website.
Back to Work Safely Guidelines from the American Industrial Hygiene Association
From the American Industrial Hygiene Association Back To Work Safely Initiative:  The links below offer specific, easy-to-follow, science-based recommendations for limiting the transmission of the coronavirus while operating a wide variety of businesses, including restaurants, retail outlets, and hair and nail salons.
These guidelines were developed for those smaller business that don't have readily available occupational health and safety resources. We encourage employers, employees, and customers to carefully read and implement as many of the recommendations contained in the guidance document provided for your industry as possible.

See the full list of "Back to Work Safely" resources from the American Industrial Hygiene Association here.
BACP Workshop Webinars
Wednesday, June 3rd at 3:00 PM Webinar:
Marketing Basics: What you need to know!
  Presented by Donna R. Rokin, Managing Partner at Rockin Enterprises, Inc.

At this presentation, you’ll learn how to identify your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) as well as identify your target markets or ideal customers. The four cornerstones of marketing will also be reviewed and discussed: Product, Price, Promotion and Placement. Finally, learn 10 low-cost methods to promote your goods or services.

Friday, June 5th at 9:30 AM Webinar:
COVID-19's Impact on Employment Handbooks & Policies Going Forward
Presented by Charles Krugel, a Management Side Labor, Employment and Human Resource Attorney

An interactive discussion concerning the kinds of policies and practices employers will need to consider upon reopening.
Support Local Old Town
Deborah's Place  is looking for assistance during this time. As a supportive housing agency, Deborah's Place continues to remain open throughout COVID-19. Residents currently need:

-Masks and disposable gloves
-Prepared meals for 30-40

Read the full COVID-19 Wish List and learn how to donate to Deborah's Place  here.
Lincoln Park Community Services (LPCS)   is looking for non-perishable foods, goods, and water bottles. Below is a document that shows their exact needs (the items at the top are our highest priority). 

All donations can be dropped off at 1521 N. Sedgwick on any day of the week. LPCS accepts drop-offs (or deliveries) between 2pm and 7pm, but they can take them in the morning if needed.

People can also order items off of their   amazon wish list   or     donate to our meal fund  .   

Please email   volunteer@lpcschicago.org   to arrange your drop-off and call 847.770.0380 if you have any questions.   Thank you!!!
Support Old Town
Service Industry Workers
The OTMRA has created a running list of Old Town Service Industry relief fund efforts, posted on the OTMRA Shop Local page. Please email Marketing & Membership Coordinator Rachel Rubinson at rrubinson@oldtownchicago.org to add a missing link to the list, and consider a donation if you are able.
COVID-19 Resources
The Old Town Merchants and Residents Association is prepared to act as a resource for businesses, educational institutions, and community members interested in staying up-to-date on best practices for responding to COVID-19 ("Coronavirus").
The OTMRA has created a resource guide for all businesses and residents in the community. The guide includes links to financial resources for businesses as well as general information for residents.
The OTMRA is committed to helping businesses get the word out about any promotions they have during this crisis.

Please send any graphics or ads to Marketing and Membership Coordinator Rachel Rubinson at rrubinson@oldtownchicago.org.
Digital Marketing Rebate Program
SSA #48 Old Town in partnership with the Old Town Merchants and Residents Association is excited to announce a new rebate program aimed at assisting businesses shifting their marketing tools to digital as a result of COVID-19. 

Applicants that meet all Program requirements outlined in this document may receive a rebate of up to 50% of eligible costs, not to exceed a total of $400 per project. Rebates will be offered to businesses that purchase online ads, boost posts on social media, purchase digital marketing software or subscriptions to online programs, or hiring a digital marketing consultant.  
The SSA #48 Commission reserves the right to implement additional or change the eligibility requirements of the Digital Marketing Rebate Program. 

For further information, including the application process and deadlines, please click below.

Questions and applications should be sent to otmra@oldtownchicago.org