Buffalo, NY – Mayor Byron W. Brown today announced that community support is growing for the new Buffalo Business Blitz initiative, a partnership with Buffalo Bills Cornerback Josh Norman that provides assistance to struggling small businesses in Buffalo during the COVID-19 emergency. The program began by Joshv Norman providing $25,000 of his own money to provide grants of up to $2,500 each to participating impacted businesses. Since announcing Buffalo Business Blitz Tuesday, other donors have stepped up, providing an additional $10,000 in funding to support small businesses in the City.
Mayor Brown stated, “I put out a call to action and organizations and individuals answered it. I am truly touched by the generosity of our community. These donations are a testament to how much small businesses mean to our City. These entrepreneurs are the backbone of our economy and are clearly an important part of the very fabric of our community. I encourage others to join this great cause, the more donations we receive, the more small businesses we can help during this emergency situation.”
So far, more than 200 businesses have registered for assistance. If you would like to donate, visit www.starz24.org.
Mayor Brown is reminding residents that the 2020 Shop Small ALL Season: Downtown Dollars Giveaway initiative is currently underway. The program, a partnership between Buffalo Place and Buffalo Urban Development Corporation’s (BUDC) Queen City Pop Up Program, is designed to attract consumers to Downtown Buffalo to support businesses in the popular shopping destination. Buffalo Place and BUDC will be awarding $50 Downtown Dollars Giveaway Certificates to 50 winners now through December 24, 2020. The contest is presented through the Buffalo Place social media channels. Several times per week throughout the promotion, Buffalo Place will post a photo and description of a participating Downtown Dollars Giveaway business. Entrants will be instructed to “like” the post and featured business and tag two friends in order to be entered to win a $50 Downtown Dollars Certificate, good at 20 participating businesses. Winners will be randomly selected daily. To learn more about this initiative, visit buffaloplace.com or buffalourbandevelopment.com.
Mayor Brown’s new small business boost initiative, Buy Black Buffalo week, kicks off Friday, December 4th and runs to December 11th. The 8-day event encourages consumers to shop at Black-owned businesses in Buffalo this holiday season. Buy Black Buffalo Week is sponsored in partnership with AT&T and coordinated by The Beverly Gray Business Exchange Center. For more information, visit www.buyblackbuffalo.com.
All three City of Buffalo Indoor Ice Rinks, Bud Bakewell Rink at Riverside Park, Lafayette Ice Rink on Tacoma Avenue and Timothy J. Burvid Rink at Cazenovia Park, will reopen Friday, December 4th, in a limited capacity.
The rinks must also follow strict safety guidelines to protect public health. Those guidelines include:
More than 1,700 residents have signed up for the new 9am-4pm parking tool to assist residents during snow events in the City of Buffalo. Residents can sign up for the BuffAlert Parking Update initiative by texting JOIN PARKINGUPDATES to 30890. Once enrolled, participating residents will receive a text message or phone call 24 hours before the 9am-4pm Alternate Parking Restrictions need to be enforced for snow maintenance. The program provides residents with notice to move their vehicles in these zones during snow events.
The Division of Citizen Services and the Board of Block Clubs are holding a community engagement meeting focused on the COVID-19 emergency on Friday, December 4th at Noon. Special guest Dr. Raul Vazquez, Founder and CEO of the Greater Buffalo United Accountable Healthcare Network (GBUAHN), will discuss several Coronavirus-related topics including safety, isolation, health tips and much more. Residents interested in attending the virtual event should email firstname.lastname@example.org by 9pm tonight.
Mayor Brown reminds small businesses in the City of Buffalo that help is available during the COVID-19 emergency. Businesses interested in expanding outdoor services can do so through the Small Business Social Distancing Initiative (SBSDI). Program participants must adhere to specific guidelines and must obtain a permit to use heaters by contacting the City of Buffalo Office of Fire Prevention at 716-851-5333 ext.750. The City of Buffalo also offers additional resources to local small businesses through www.buffalony.gov/ReopenBuffalo, a one-stop destination with a variety of resources.
To find the closest COVID-19 test site near you, visit covid19.buffalony.gov. The map contains a complete listing of all COVID-19 testing sites throughout the City with contact information for setting up an appointment, hours of operation and whether the site requires a prescription for testing.
Local job experts continue to help residents impacted by the COVID-19 emergency. If you are looking for a new job, call the Buffalo Employment and Training Center at 856-JOBS. Employment counselors are available for remote one-on-one counseling sessions.
Mayor Brown encourages healthy, COVID-19 symptom-free residents to give blood to help maintain an adequate supply. Donating is safe and social distancing precautions are in place to protect donors. To make an appointment or if you are interested in holding a blood drive, visit connectlifegiveblood.org.
Use BuffAlert to stay informed on important information like emergencies and cancellations. You can sign up by texting JOIN BUFFALERT to 30890.