Excitingly, Downtown Lynchburg Association (DLA) received a 2021 VMS Merit Award for Best Bounceback Strategy, which recognizes worthy examples of how local Main Street programs “bounced back” after the pandemic began to recede and supported businesses, while also demonstrating commitment to community.
In order to raise funds for their Downtown Recovery Initiative and other small business support efforts, Downtown Lynchburg Association (DLA) held the first ever DOWNTOWN-A-THON, a 12-hour virtual event that sought to galvanize citizens around a commitment to supporting local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was broadcast live on YouTube and Facebook from 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. and showcased video content highlighting all facets of Downtown Lynchburg – interviews with business owners and local leaders, restaurant features, music performances, non-profit profiles and more! In between video segments, telethon hosts and co-hosts invited viewers to give generously to support downtown. The message to the audience was simple – the businesses that you love are struggling, and we need your help to keep them alive. An effective brand and marketing plan was developed to ensure high virtual attendance, and gift card giveaways were added throughout the day to keep people engaged for many hours.
Excitingly, DLA reached the organization’s fundraising goal of $50,000, and over 6,000 viewers tuned in during the 12-hour live stream, providing immense exposure and new potential customers for downtown businesses both during the event and throughout event promotions. Undoubtedly, the local Main Street organization’s DOWNTOWN-A-THON has been recognized as more than a successful fundraiser, but rather a creative bounceback strategy that brought the greater community together around the love of small businesses in Downtown Lynchburg!
Click here to view the recorded 2021 VMS Merit Awards presentation!