What's New in Old Town?
May 14, 2020
In this Issue:
  • COVID-19 Crisis Management Webinar
  • Brand Experience and Marketing Webinar
  • Virtual Networking Series: Wine, Whine, and Unwind
  • BACP Webinars for Small Businesses
  • Support Old Town Nonprofits
  • Support Old Town Service Industry Workers
  • Survey Request from the Chicago Rat Project
  • Upcoming Member Promotions & Events
  • COVID-19 Resources
  • COVID-19 Business Marketing Resources
COVID-19 Crisis Management for Businesses
In uncertain times, many businesses need to rely on a crisis management plan to weather the storm. The Shelter-In-Place order to mitigate COVID is no exception. This workshop will feature experts in real estate, insurance, and labor to help business owners think through what to do in the event of an unforeseen crisis, and how to prepare for re-opening their business when the Shelter-In-Place order is lifted.
Brand Experience and Marketing in Trying Times
Owning a business comes with its own set of challenges and risks—especially during crises like COVID-19. ​​While navigating trying times, relying on your brand values can help guide you. Knowing your brand drives communication with your customers as you weather the storm. Join Bigmouth Creative for a webinar on best practices in marketing and social media while dealing with circumstances out of your control.

About Bigmouth:
Bigmouth is a brand experience design and strategy agency.  We founded Bigmouth to be a different kind of brand and creative agency. We simplify the complex with everything we produce—from inspiring brand books and integrated marketing campaigns to employee communications and corporate websites. With strategy, that means using insights and emotion to shape your value proposition. With design, it’s about clean, human-centered storytelling. With content, it’s everything you need and nothing you don’t. And with technology, it’s about delivering an effortless experience. Creatives at heart, we always make our solutions as unique as they are useful. Learn more about Bigmouth  here .
Wine, Whine, and Unwind with the OTMRA
Times are tough right now. You've probably got a lot on your mind. Connect with Old Town residents via Zoom and let it out!
BACP Webinars for Small Businesses
Friday, May 15th at 9:30 AM Webinar:
Manage Your Business Remotely  

Presented by JinJa Birkenbeuel, Birk Creative (Grow With Google Official Google Partner )  

In this live class, I will share the free and easy to access Google tools that can help you stay productive no matter where you are.
In this session we’ll show you how to:
•Update your customers with critical business information through your Business Profile, Google Ads, and your website.
•Communicate remotely with your customers and employees with tools like Google Meets and Gmail, and how to access and collaborate on files with your team through Google Drive.
•And we’ll share next steps and resources available to help you manage remotely.

Friday, May 22nd at 9:30 AM Webinar :
Small Business Capital and Coaching During the Recovery

Presented by Accion Serving Illinois & Indiana

As Chicago’s economy starts to reopen, how can your business be best prepared? Join this presentation, with moderated Q&A after, in which Accion Serving Illinois & Indiana CEO Brad McConnell will discuss capital and coaching options for small business during the COVID-19 recovery period.
Click here  to register for Friday, 5/22 Webinar.
Support Local Old Town Non-Profits
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!!!
Deborah's Place is also looking for assistance during this time.

If you would like to assist  Deborah’s Place during this time you could do one of the following:
  • Collect and drop-off nonperishable foods for our small in-house food pantries. We anticipate increasing food distribution for the foreseeable future. Items can be dropped off at our main location at 2822 W Jackson Blvd.
  • Make a monetary donation online. Donations made via check may be delayed in processing due to staffing.
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.
Survey Request from The Chicago Rat Project
With many of us spending more time in our homes than usual, some of our neighbors may face challenges with household pests such as rats. You may have even seen news articles about rising rat concerns during quarantine in Chicago. We are reaching out to community organizations in every Chicago community area to learn about resident issues with rats during the stay-at-home order.

The goal of this study is to determine if staying at home during these past few weeks has increased rat infestations in homes and if this change is associated with public health risks from rats or changes in attitudes about Chicago’s wildlife. Responses from your community members will help identify resident needs for rodent control, public health, and urban nature.

Is the “stay-at-home” order changing rat problems in Chicago?

Please take our survey!

You are invited to participate in a research study by taking a 15-minute anonymous survey about rats in your community. We are interested in hearing from everyone over the age of 18, even if you do not currently have rat problems.

The goal of this study is to determine if staying at home has changed rat problems in homes across Chicago and if this has changed public health risks from rats or attitudes about 
Chicago’s wildlife.

Your responses will help us identify areas that may need support for rodent control, public health, and urban nature because no one knows your community better than you.

or paste this link in your browser:

This survey is part of the Chicago Rat Project, led by scientists at Lincoln Park Zoo, the Field Museum, the Center for Community Health Equity and Johns Hopkins University. The Urban Wildlife Institute at Lincoln Park Zoo is continuing to learn about Chicago’s urban wildlife landscape as our communities navigate COVID-19 together. If you have time and are able, we would appreciate any insights you are able to provide via this survey. We understand if you aren’t able to participate. Hopefully, we’ll learn a little bit about our city and its non-human residents in this challenging environment.

We appreciate your help! If you have any questions, please contact the study lead Dr. Maureen Murray and project coordinator Jackie Buckley at  ChicagoRatProject@gmail.com , and visit the Chicago Rat Project website:  https://www.lpzoo.org/conservation-science/projects/chicago-rat-project .
Upcoming Member
Promotions & Events
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.
OTMRA Business Marketing Resources
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.
The OTMRA has also created neighborhood window signs for you to place in the front of your stores to show what services you are currently providing. We encourage you to print them out and hang them up in your storefronts. Download them here.