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Geneva BID launches #Commit2Geneva program to promote COVID-19 safety guidelines

The Geneva Business Improvement District, or BID, announced a new public education campaign called #Commit2Geneva, in an effort to promote ‘safe visits’ to downtown businesses during the Coronavirus Pandemic.

The Geneva BID launched #commit2Geneva to let visitors and customers know that participating property and business owners pledge to follow safety guidelines. A #commit2Geneva sticker or sign in a store window or on social media lets them know that business is doing what they can to stop the spread and serve the public. #commit2Geneva means that good neighbors, customers and citizens are also helping to keep our community safe so that we can continue to stay open. The campaign provides clear and basic safety guidelines for visitors.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

The #commit2geneva campaign is intended to be a highly visible initiative that keeps Geneva thriving by recruiting the cooperation of consumers, and the commitment to health from downtown property owners and businesses. #commit2Geneva encourages safe practices for businesses and consumers in a way that welcomes people to downtown (and greater) Geneva. Phase one includes earned and social media to raise awareness of the community’s safety measures. Phase two will promote the breadth of things to do in downtown Geneva for residents and visitors. The Geneva BID and its partners are planning “big ticket” events like a kid’s program, and drive-in movie and drive-in concert for phase three, as a celebration for local residents, and a draw for out-of-town guests.

The process is simple. Interested Geneva property owners and businesses visit the campaign website and take the pledge for safe practices. Doing so provides access to a wealth of print and digital materials they can use to promote their involvement in best practices. Participating businesses will be featured in campaign social media posts and advertising. And they will be invited to participate in a range of local events designed to entice people downtown.

Visitors and customers, on the other hand, play an important role too: commit to fun and unique experiences; commit to small businesses; commit to safety – and each other; and #Commit2Geneva. “#commit2geneva is a simple concept that let’s consumers know that participating downtown (and area) property and business owners are taking the necessary steps to maintain safe environments for tenants, business owners and their employees,” said Geneva BID Executive Director Michael Mills. “And we ask visitors and customers to do their part by following safety guidelines and shopping local, so that together we all thrive.”

The Geneva BID heard from many of its merchant members that customers have been slow to return due to concerns surrounding COVID-19. Finger Lakes tourism organizations and Geneva BID partners were also sharing that national and international travel is down this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but “staycations” within New York State and nearby cities is on the rise. And the trips are multigenerational, with family members of all ages traveling and exploring together, requiring programming for everyone. So, the campaign highlights the safety measures being taken by participating property and business owners to help combat these fears. And campaign marketing and advertising will primarily focus on local residents and consumers within a two-hour radius, followed by remaining New York markets.

Interested Geneva property owners and businesses are encouraged to visit the campaign website to take the pledge. And residents and visitors can learn about the campaign and how they can help on the site as well.

The #commit2geneva campaign commences this week and runs through early fall. Lessons from the campaign and surveying of participants and visitors will drive future Geneva BID marketing and economic development activities.

The #Commit2Geneva campaign is produced by the Geneva Business Improvement District in partnership with 29 Design Studio and support from The Finger lakes Times. LNB Bank, the first campaign sponsor, will help fund marketing materials, advertising and other initiatives.