Continuously finding new ways to adapt and support small business can be challenging, especially during a global pandemic, but Marietta Main Street has once again launched a new, unique effort to keep the spotlight on all things local through their Downtown ‘Grams campaign.

The Downtown ‘Grams campaign launched on September 1st and will continue through September 14th, offering folks across the Mid-Ohio Valley the opportunity to “Give A ‘Gram” and support local at the same time. Similar to the popular gift card programs across the U.S., Downtown ‘Grams purchases gift cards from participating downtown businesses but instead of keeping them, “‘Gram Givers” send them to a surprise recipient along with other goodies.

“Let’s be honest, this year has been difficult to say the least. With Downtown ‘Grams, we want to encourage folks to send local love and gratitude to each other and in doing so, help make someone’s day a little brighter,” shared Tim Glover, President of the Board for Marietta Main Street.

“Not only do these ‘Grams encourage folks to share gratitude with neighbors, friends, colleagues, and more, but it also provides much-needed support for our downtown businesses. Things are not back to normal yet, and we want to do all we can to ensure our downtown businesses have a future in our town,” said Glover.

I’m excited to be able to send a little additional love to friends and family with the ‘Grams!

Marietta Main Street Vice President, Aleece Dye

Administered by Marietta Main Street, each ‘Gram will consist of the ‘Gram itself – a custom note from the donor to the surprise recipient – a Main Street Sticker, and a $10 gift card to a participating downtown business of the donor’s choosing. At the cost of just $20, each ‘Gram purchase also includes a $10 donation to Marietta Main Street.

Aleece Dye, Vice President of the Board for Marietta Main Street, is looking forward to participating in the Downtown ‘Grams campaign.

“Downtown ‘Grams are such a fun way to spread cheer and show our small businesses that we care and we continue to support them through this trying time. I’m excited to be able to send a little additional love to friends and family with the ‘Grams, knowing that the proceeds will help Marietta Main Street continues its vital work in uplifting our downtown!” said Dye.

Those interested in sending ‘Grams can opt to send gift cards from any one of 16 participating downtown businesses, including 740 Social, American Flags & Poles, Baker & Baker Jewelers, Jeremiah’s Coffee House, Just A Jar Design Press, Marietta Brewing Co., Marietta Dance Academy, Merle Norman & More, Modest Peacock, Rockstar Wellness, Sugar Maple Boutique, Teri Ann’s, The Original Pizza Place, The Workingman’s Store, Threadz, and Wit & Whimzy. Each participating business is also a partner of Marietta Main Street, meaning the businesses themselves have invested in the organization.

Darla Kemp Bonnette, owner of Threadz Boutique, is one of the participating businesses and hopes the fundraiser will help increase customers downtown.

“I opted into participating with the Downtown ‘Grams because it’s a very fun and unique way for our customers to stay engaged with downtown and their favorite shops. I mean, who doesn’t love to be surprised with a sweet message that includes a gift card from your favorite store! My hope is for people to utilize this fundraiser for what it’s worth and make someone’s day with a sweet surprise! And who knows, we all may gain a new customer or two due to someone’s else’s thoughtfulness!” said Bonnette.

Participating in Downtown ‘Grams is as easy as heading to the Main Street website. Donors can send as many ‘Grams as they’d like by simply filling out a form that includes the ‘Gram Recipient’s information, a custom note from the ‘Gram Giver, and the selected businesses for the gift card. All Downtown ‘Grams will be processed and sent in the mail no later than the beginning of October.