With small businesses in the New River Valley and Blacksburg’s small businesses in particular facing unprecedented economic challenges resulting from the coronavirus because of the lack of sports fans coming to town this fall, a marketing campaign was launched Friday to reach 100,000+ out-of-town fans, alumni, and parents, urging them to buy gift cards from local Blacksburg businesses to create immediate cash flow and to #SaveBlacksburg.
The impact of the absent sports falls has been estimated to reach as high as $80 million in missing economic activity in Blacksburg and the surrounding area. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has estimated that 25 to 35 percent of small businesses across the nation will close permanently before the pandemic runs its course.
The #SaveBlackburg Economic Campaign is actively supported by the Downtown Blacksburg Initiative, the Montgomery County Department of Tourism, Blacksburg Partnership, Virginia Tech Parents Facebook community, Sons of Saturday and Tech Sideline podcasts and multiple Virginia Tech regional alumni associations and student groups.
The primary platform selected for the campaign is the Localyte app, currently available in the Apple App Store and coming soon to the Google Play store. This app will allow alumni to purchase egift cards now and use them when they can return to Blacksburg next year. The app will also allow parents to purchase and send egift cards to their university students. Unlike other “community card” solutions, the proceeds from the sale go straight to the business. Many community cards keep the funds in escrow and do not alleviate the current cash flow problem.
A video overview of the campaign can be found online.
Additional information is available at [email protected] or by calling 540=585-1765. (540) 585-1765.