What We Learned on the Ground in 5 U.S. Cities

We all read the news, watch our social media feeds, zoom with our friends and colleagues. We get it – we can imagine what’s going on in the world around us. But do we really know? How is the current craziness impacting life? We’ll try and provide some clarity on one piece of the puzzle.

Starting on June 1st, during the height of the Covid19 crisis, and during the largest mass-demonstrations against racial injustice in the history of the country, PMD Media set out across 5 cities, to take a stand, to show support, and to try and get a sense of the mood of communities, through the eyes of its storefronts – where so much turmoil is threatening all that we know and love about our neighborhoods.

We ❤️ Small Business is the message.

PMD Media’s OOH network is made up of independent, small businesses. 35,000 of them, across 50 markets, in 1,000 neighborhoods, so our personnel are in a unique position to report back on what we’re seeing and hearing.

Here’s what we learned on the ground in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington DC and Miami:

  1. Business is coming back, as is pedestrian traffic.
  2. Owners & workers are nervous, but excited to get back to normal.
  3. There is a true sense of community and “we’re all in this together” attitude.

Business, for the most part, is coming back strong. Customers want to return to normal, and that normal involves their local businesses. Because our research was done mainly in the large, metropolitan areas where foot traffic is heavy, we kept a special eye out for this. Pedestrian levels seem to be almost at pre-covid levels.

Owners and workers are nervous about returning to work and exposing themselves to the coronavirus, but are overall very excited to be back, and settle into the routine again. Most businesses are eager to see their regular clientele, and to help in the economic recovery that will only fully take hold when the virus is behind us.

The sense of community that one gleans from both the customers and the employees of these establishments is evident in all we’ve seen. It compares most closely with the post-September 11th sense of shared comradery that so famously came about after the last national tragedy, only in a much more prolonged, wider area.

PMD Media will continue to monitor the situation in these unprecedented times, and we’ll report back to you when we have any additional insights.

One thing we’ll be especially looking out for are businesses that do not reopen, or shutter after making an unsuccessful comeback. We hope these will be in the minority.

Thank you for reading – ping us back if you have any questions or comments, we would love to hear from you.

Dean Stallone

Small businesses are the backbone of our neighborhoods, and our economy. The local cafe we used to stop in before hitting the office, the corner convenience store we visit to grab lunch, the local restaurant where we never need to look at the menu because we know it by heart; these types of establishments need our support.
Show the love – shop – buy – eat local.

 

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