A so-called one-stop business directory is now online and listing the services still offered by downtown Chattanooga restaurants and retailers hit by the impact of the coronavirus.
"We'll do this for the foreseeable future until they operate in a more normal fashion," said Amy Donahue of the downtown nonprofit redevelopment group River City Co., which put the directory together.
The directory, at www.downtownchattanooga.org, tells which restaurants, for example, are offering services such as delivery, take-out, curbside pickup or making other efforts, Donahue said.
"There are still ways to support retailers and restaurants," she said.
Also, River City has created a contest, #TakeoutTonightCHA, at the downtown Chattanooga Instagram account @DowntownChatt. A link is at www.instagram.com/downtownchatt/.
Donahue said that during a takeout order or delivery from a downtown restaurant, the customer can snap a photo and then share it on Instagram using the hashtag and then tag the @DowntownChatt account.
"It's not based on beauty of the photo," she said. But winners will receive a gift card of up to $100 to use at one of several downtown eateries, Donahue said.
Amanda Niel, owner with husband Erik of Easy Bistro and Main Street Meats downtown, said the River City initiatives help raise awareness during a time when every restaurant and retailer has changed their business model.
"The way they have it laid out is super easy," she said about the directory. "The difference between restaurants and retail is super important."
Niel said Easy Bistro has closed, but Main Street Meats has its butcher shop, which helps meet the need of grocery store shoppers.
Also, Main Street Meats is offering online ordering as well as curbside pickup, she said. A popular offering is family meals for four to six people, Niel said.
"It's really nice that people can stop by, pick those up and if they want, they can get a pound of bacon for breakfast and add grocery items," she said. "We're going back to our roots in promoting the butcher shop and what we make around that butcher shop."
Niel said while they've kept all the salaried personnel, Main Street Meats had to lay off 16 people. East Bistro laid off 42 people temporarily, she said.
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