DBA: meeting challenges during ‘unthinkably difficult’ time

BRATTLEBORO — The COVID-19 pandemic presented profound challenges nationwide, and downtown Brattleboro was no exception.The constantly changing landscape of shutdowns and reopenings, evolving safety mandates, reduced revenue, and shared trauma has made for an unthinkably difficult time.

However, we are proud to report that we met the challenges head on and that we succeeded in supporting our community in ways we never imagined possible.

We focused our strategy around three prongs: keeping our community safe, responding to urgent needs, and uplifting our community through programming that emphasized joy and connection in this difficult and isolating time.

This past year, we are proud to report that DBA:

• Supported more than 100 local businesses.

• Invested more than $1 million locally.

• Worked in coalition with more than 35 local organizations.

• Received more than 300 individual donations.

• Hired two interns from the BDCC internship program.

• Employed two new staff members for the Everyone Eats program.

• Engaged more than 120 volunteers.

We will continue to work boldly toward our goals, even while we continue to adapt to the challenging conditions of the ongoing pandemic.

We know our small businesses, our organizations, and our downtown community need continued, urgent economic relief and emotional and logistical support. The work of the DBA has never been more critical in providing a web of connection for all the resources, energy, and creative problem-solving that already exist in our community.

We are humbled by each donor, volunteer, coalition partner, business owner, artist, leader, and team member for their commitment to making Brattleboro the best possible place. The pandemic has made clear that a holistic, community-based development is not just important but critical to the survival and continued growth of downtown.

We continue to work toward a vision of Brattleboro in which our rich tapestry of creators - artists, business owners, restaurateurs, farmers, food producers, nonprofits, and educators - work together to create joyful opportunities for all.

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