Organizers of a rally to support local businesses are getting ready for the Saturday, Aug. 22 event and are asking volunteers to go to Sarasota News and Books from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 21, to help with the setup.
The Aug. 31 closure of the bookstore was the catalyst for the event, in which a marketing campaign will be unveiled called “I believe in downtown.”
Saturday’s rally will be held during the Downtown Farmers Market at 10:30 a.m. on State Street.
Wendy Getchell, president of the Downtown Sarasota Merchants Association, said she’s adopting the principles of a national movement called the 3/50 Project, which is designed to save brick-and-mortar stores across the country.
The project asks supporters to choose their three favorite local stores and pledge to spend $50 per month in each one.
“But if you can’t do $50, do $25, or do $10,” said Getchell.
Volunteers will be distributing pledge forms at the rally.
District 13 Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, is scheduled to speak at the rally in support of local businesses.
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- Sarasota's downtown has so much potential!! I think that this is a great "grass roots" effort. But, the biggest problem with downtown......even before the recession....is the large amount of vagrants who congregate near the downtown businesses. We have basically stopped going downtown because we don't want to have to see this. We certainly don't bring out of town guests downtown, as it is embarrassing to see that after 9 pm, many times the vagrants outnumber the patrons of the businesses.
Unfortunately, through VERY POOR LONG-TERM PLANNING, the Salvation Army was built way too close to downtown. Perhaps there needs to be new laws which protect the businesses by not allowing loitering? Something has to be done. If not taken care of in the near future, there may be no more downtown as we know it sooner than later.
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