About the business community:
Gillette's historic downtown has grown to be an active community hub where local culinary artists and brewers serve their creations, diverse merchants sell their wares and events showcase community pride. When it comes to shopping local and protecting the economy, Gillette Main Street has dedicated itself to bringing the community together, through thick and thin.
How COVID affected things:
When the first mandates happened in March, the Gillette community faced the fear of the virus, fear of loss of revenues, concerns about ourselves, family and friends, and uncertainty of the future for the community, businesses, events, etc. Unlike other areas, they also faced the continued decline in the energy industry, which caused hundreds of layoffs and company bankruptcies.
How Gillette reacted:
As soon as the restrictions were put in place, Gillette Main Street immediately partnered with the City of Gillette to provide curbside service for all the restaurants, coffee shops, and bakeries. Main Street also implemented promotions and new programming to make sure that downtown Gillette was in the forefront of the community's minds. One downtown business, EK Jewelers, auctioned off a piece of jewelry on Facebook each day and gave a portion of the proceeds to fellow businesses.
Even in the middle of a national pandemic, Gillette Main Street welcomed four new businesses and celebrated two businesses expanding. The Main Street group is thrilled with the growth and expansion of downtown Gillette. Overall, the community rallied around one another and their businesses. The result - Despite the challenges incurred by the pandemic and the decline in the energy industry, Gillette Main Street has had their best year ever.
What the future holds:
Gillette Main Street feels confident in its future. The Main Street program has much more engagement from downtown businesses, appreciation of its work from the community, and confidence in the organization's abilities now.
“We are much more aware of the needs of our business owners, the generosity and loyalty of our community, the willingness of our locals to pitch in and help, and the strength within us all. We will continue to work for our downtown, our community, and each other going forward.”
-Jessica Seders, Gillette Main Street
“My heart is overwhelmed with the love and support this community has shown our little-big store! I always put my trust first in God. Through Him, my husband, family, friends, and the huge support of our customers... this store... this dream... has made a great reality in creating happy memories.”
- Erica Kissack, EK Jewelers
Gillette Main Street