Attention Downtown Salem
businesses! The City of Salem is participating in the Massachusetts Local Rapid
Recovery Plan (LRRP) Program to help communities develop recovery plans for
targeted downtowns and commercial districts. The LRRP Program is designed to
support business owners and community members by helping the community develop
actionable, project-based recovery plans. These plans will be developed in
coordination with the local government, customized to the individual economic
challenges and COVID-19 related impacts in Downtown Salem. They will include a
data analysis as well as an exploration of challenges, barriers, strategies,
and actions – taking any shortcomings COVID has exposed and turn them into
lasting strengths. Salem Main Streets is functioning as the primary local
partner for this program.
We need the input of Downtown Salem business owners to be a key part of revitalizing downtown. Not sure if your business is considered part of the Downtown Salem district? Check the district map above!
Help us help you by taking the
LRRP business survey by April 16!
A modified Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture celebration will happen in Salem from February 1-14, 2021. This popular annual event has been updated to adhere to public health guidelines required by the COVID-19 pandemic, and organizers are confident the event will provide opportunities to safely get outside, explore Salem, and support small businesses. In its 19th year, Salem’s So Sweet is a perennial favorite, celebrating delectable chocolate, sparkling ice sculptures, and Valentine’s Day shopping. It is Salem’s sweetest time of the year!
Organizers of Salem’s So Sweet are committed to supporting
local businesses and encouraging safe ways for residents to remain connected to
their downtown. As a result, the initiative has been expanded
to run two full weeks, February 1 – 14 and to include two weekends. The program
will include more options for attendees to enjoy at their own pace, including a
SWEET weekend featuring ice sculptures and chocolate on February 6 and 7, and a
new HEAT weekend that will feature warming stations and spicy treats.
Many local businesses will offer chocolate specials and
sweet discounts around downtown Salem for the duration of Salem’s So Sweet in
celebration of Valentine’s Day. In place of the Golden Ticket and brochure,
participating promotions will be listed online at salemsosweet.com. Takeout, curbside
pickup, online ordering, and other safely distanced options will be highly
encouraged. Business promotions will be good Feb. 1 through Feb. 14 unless
SWEET: February 6
The annual ice sculptures and ice sculpture illumination
will happen on Saturday, February 6.
More than 15 ice sculptures will be installed around downtown Salem,
including an owl, gingerbread house, rocking horse, and a Hello Kitty phone.
The sculptures will be illuminated by Retonica between 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. on
Saturday night. A map and more
information will be available online at salemsosweet.com
HEAT: February 13
This year things will get hot with warming stations in
downtown Salem and a new emphasis on spicy to compliment the Sweet. Love Letters
to Salem will pop up around the downtown, including a NEW Love Letter
Treasure Hunt! Seek out fragments of a love letter between Nathaniel and Sophia
Hawthorne hidden in windows around the downtown and submit the completed text
to be eligible for a prize. More details will be posted online at salemsosweet.com in February.
The Chocolate & Wine event has been
cancelled this year due to the coronavirus restrictions. Instead, takeout
options from participating restaurants and food purveyors are strongly
encouraged and will be promoted throughout the two weeks.
Salem’s So Sweet is organized by Salem Main Streets and the
Salem Chamber of Commerce, and sponsored by Goldberg Properties, Groom
Construction, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem Five, St. Jean’s Credit Union, and
Winer Bros. Hardware, with support from Destination Salem, Retonica, Scarlet
Letter Press, and the Creative Collective. Visit salemsosweet.com for more events and
details as they become available and follow the Facebook page for all the
latest updates at facebook.com/salemsosweet.
Use the Destination Salem App for the
best information about navigating Salem.
Salem Main Streets and the City of Salem
are pleased to announce the completed installation of our 2020 Holiday Tree at
Lappin Park. While we were not able to gather to light the tree together this
year, the Tree remains a seasonal cornerstone of our downtown and reflects the
strength of our community.
The tree this year has been generously donated by The O’Brien
Family, delivered by Iron Tree Service and Spencer Contracting, and decorated
by Gigi Gill and the City of Salem tree department, with a programmable LED
tree topper constructed by Joey Nicotera of Retonica. The tree was sponsored by
Gigi Gill, Sis Williams/Dick Simard Barbershop, Morning Glory B&B, John
Keenan & Kara McLaughlin, Gulu Gulu Cafe, Flying Saucer Pizza Company,
Gypsy Moon, Harrison’s Comics, Vampfangs, and Brian Kennedy. The tree topper is
possible through the Salem Winterlude initiative, a new collaboration between
Salem Main Streets and Creative Collective, supported through
Bench Consulting’s “Winter Places” program with funding from the Barr
A new campaign encourages residents to shop local and support the independently owned small businesses that make Salem, Massachusetts a unique place to live, work, and visit. A mailing to residents, a punch card promotion, new holiday light displays, and new street banners all promote the #StayLocalSalem campaign this winter.
“We want to remind people of the diversity of retail in downtown Salem and encourage them to spend locally and support the businesses that are, in many cases, owned by our friends and neighbors,” says Kylie Sullivan, director of Salem Main Streets, adding, “Shopping in Salem is convenient, safe, and unique.”
Salem’s downtown retail mix includes artists’ studios, jewelry shops, specialty foods, housewares, apparel, and seasonal items. Many of the businesses have built online stores and offer shipping or curbside pick-up. Businesses that are offering in-store shopping have health and safety guidelines in place that include capacity limits, hand sanitizer, and plexiglass barriers to keep employees and shoppers safe.
Many restaurants are open for both take-out and dining in, and most sell gift certificates, which make a great gift! Restaurants have also implemented new safety protocols, including removing tables, adhering to reduced capacity limits, and installing barriers between tables and booths.
Museums including the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem Witch Museum, and The House of the Seven Gables are open as well, as are their shops, providing both unique gifts and a safe activity.
“Keeping dollars local helps improve our city’s economy,” says Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, “Our small, creative, locally owned businesses carry unique products and services and are part of our city’s special charm and character. Shopping local helps keep your neighbor in business and ensures your gift is one of a kind!”
More than 50 businesses are participating in the #StayLocalSalem campaign, which kicks off on Friday, December 4. Customers can bring the “Stay Local Salem” postcard to receive a punch with purchase. After five punches, the card can be entered for a chance to win a Salem Staycation prize. Cards are available from participating businesses, as well.
As the COVID crisis continues to evolve and Massachusetts travel order tightens, encouraging local patronage of businesses that are traditionally supported by a mix of tourist and local dollars is crucial to small business survival. To that end, the #StayLocalSalem and #StayLocal2020 campaigns were developed by Creative Collective. The Salem campaign compliments the Massachusetts campaign that encourages residents to put their money where their hearts are and #LoveMyLocalMA. # # #
Salem Main Streets and Creative
Collective, in partnership with the City of Salem, are pleased to announce the
new Salem Winterlude initiative to bring light and creativity to downtown Salem
this winter. The partnership received a Winter Placemaking grant through Bench
Consulting’s “Winter Places” program with funding support from the Barr
This collaborative project is
intended to activate and enhance the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall and adjacent
public spaces, encouraging safe outdoor and physically distant opportunities
for residents to explore and engage with each other throughout the downtown
district. Salem Winterlude celebrates our downtown during the holiday season,
and will contribute to small business support initiatives as well as
community wellness. This initiative will run in tandem with the Stay Local
Salem campaign created by Creative Collective and currently being promoted
through Destination Salem, the Salem Chamber of Commerce, and Salem Main
“It is very important to give people a safe and welcoming
space outdoors and support our Main Streets economy in these challenging times.
The creative community has stepped up throughout the entire COVID-19 pandemic
and we are very grateful for the flexible spending allowed through this financial
support of the Barr Foundation, allowing us to activate and enhance safe public
spaces, while commissioning local creative professionals to enhance the
activations” says John Andrews, founder of Creative Collective.
“We have put aside so many of our usual community gatherings
this winter,” added Salem Main Streets’ Executive Director, Kylie Sullivan.
“Without opportunities to celebrate together physically at our annual Salem
Main Streets events like the Tree Lighting, Santa’s Arrival, or New Year’s Eve,
it is more important than ever that the downtown feels warm and festive, that
our storefronts are bright, and that our community pride shines through
Components of the Salem Winterlude project will include upgrades to our usual holiday wreaths and ribbons on the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall with new programmable lights, a programmable tree topper for the Holiday Tree on Lappin Park, temporary mural backdrops created by local artists on Salem Common and Derby Square, a seasonal artistic installation at the East India Fountain in partnership with the Peabody Essex Museum, and decorated evergreens and mural backdrops by local artists for Charlotte Forten Park.
The creative partners have begun
installing the various components funded through the grant, which will continue
and adapt all winter long, including through the Salem’s So Sweet Festival in
Salem Main Streets' mission is the continued revitalization of downtown Salem as a vibrant, year-round, retail, dining and cultural destination through business retention, recruitment, and promotion of the downtown district.