#SaveBlackburg Economic Campaign
Small businesses across the country are facing unprecedented challenges. These challenges are amplified in Blacksburg and the NRV area with the lack of sports fans and parents coming to town this fall. The impact of this is estimated to be $80 million of missing economic activity in Blacksburg and the surrounding area. The US Chamber of Commerce expects 25-35% of small businesses to close permanently due to the effects created by the COVID-19 pandemic1.
To mitigate some of this impact, a marketing campaign is launching October 16, 2020 to reach 100,000+ (and climbing as more consumer groups are signing on) out-of-town fans, alumni, and parents to buy gifts cards from local Blacksburg businesses with the goal of creating immediate cash flow and to #SaveBlacksburg.
This campaign is actively supported by:
- Montgomery County Department of Tourism
- Blacksburg Partnership
- Virginia Tech Parents Facebook community
- Sons of Saturday & Tech Sideline podcasts
- Multiple Virginia Tech regional alumni associations and student groups (more in process of joining)
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.