Group offers gift card match program to help businesses on North Broad Street

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- As businesses try to recover from the effects due to COVID-19, one organization is stepping up to keep business retention along North Broad Street in Philadelphia.

"I think one thing that we've seen was the businesses just had to really improve their online and digital marketing platform," said Shalimar Thomas, executive director of The North Broad Renaissance.

The North Broad Renaissance is a local non-profit which is aimed at working on a five-year development plan along North Broad Street post-COVID-19.

"What we're doing right now as we did with our first five-year strategic plan is look at ways we can raise money for the work that we're doing, and it's across the board."

The North Broad Renaissance is helping North Broad businesses with a gift card match program. just one way they're looking to help out.

"The gift card match program, people have supported $1,800 worth of gift cards under this initiative, said Thomas. "The North Broad Renaissance will match any gift card purchase up to $200. That's a way we're working to create revenue."

Along with gift cards, NBR introduced the "Reopened With Care Campaign" to encourage all North Broad businesses to follow an essential business model.

Thursday The City of Philadelphia announced details regarding partnership with NBR to support local businesses re-open safely as they begin to gradually move in the Green Phase.

The City's Department of Commerce and Philadelphia City Council will work with NBR in order to help invoke these efforts through the city.

"The Reopened with Care campaign originated and has been going strong on North Broad, as we prepare to enter the Green Phase, the city is proud to help take this campaign citywide," said Mayor Jim Kenney.

Businesses in participation will sign a pledge committing to safety guidelines.

"When that moment comes, when it's time for businesses to reopen, we want to make sure that's done as safely as possible to protect the consumer and keep our communities safe," said Thomas.

When asked how The North Broad Renaissance is helping businesses stay better prepared, Thomas said, "To not put on blinders and think that this won't happen again. To use it as our kind of test run," she added.

Thomas says the coronavirus shutdown was the "ultimate test run," and will provide valuable lessons if this ever happens again.
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