Brewery owner says businesses might work together to create 'Long Grove survival kit'
Some Long Grove businesses might band together for a proposed promotion intended to generate sales during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Buffalo Creek Brewing owner Mike Marr brought up the idea of a "Long Grove survival kit" during a business-oriented webinar hosted by the village Monday night. It would include Buffalo Creek beer and other Long Grove favorites.
Village President Bill Jacob, business owners, members of Long Grove's advisory economic development commission and a representative from the state's Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity were among the 35 participants in the session that included information about financial assistance programs.
It also was an opportunity for Long Grove's business community to connect and float ideas over the video conference.
Marr said the Long Grove survival kits would allow businesses to go beyond the common customer engagement that's occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as promotional emails and social media posts.
"So, we'll be the host business where we'll package everything together and just have one price where someone can come in and buy the whole package," Marr said. "You know, it will be some chocolates, some popcorn, some beer, some menus from all the local restaurants, their hours that they're doing curbside delivery, things like that so that we can really get that information out there."
Long Grove is doing what it can to support the businesses in town, Village Manager David Lothspeich said. He said one way the village will assist is by not requiring approval for temporary signs, which some businesses have been compelled to install to signal being open.
"Again, we don't want to be in your way," Lothspeich told the business operators. "We're not looking for any kind of active enforcement on anything. But I just ask that everyone remain reasonable in what you're doing, and if you have any questions to contact us."
Village officials had voiced optimism about the downtown business district's future after the historic bridge over Buffalo Creek was reopened for the winter holidays. That followed the completion of the Robert Parker Coffin Road improvement project.
Other projects since June 2018 included an Old McHenry Road renovation, new sidewalks and the downtown's first streetlights.
Crews were out Tuesday working on upgrades for the 114-year-old bridge that has been moved west of the creek and sits on the side of Coffin Road. After abutment repairs by the water, the one-lane Coffin Road span will be reinstalled and topped with a new timber cover.
Signs off Route 53 near Coffin Road and elsewhere in the area warn drivers the bridge is expected to be closed through July 30. It has been shut since March 19.
Heavy damage was caused to the cover when an oversized box truck plowed into the top of the structure in June 2018, about two weeks the bridge landed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Constructed in 1906 by the Joliet Bridge and Iron Co., the structure is a rare surviving example of a pin-connected pony truss bridge built for an urban setting, according to documents submitted by for the national landmark process. The cover was added in 1972 to help preserve the bridge and limit traffic from trucks and other heavy vehicles.