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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    ‘Move Your Meetings’ campaign an opportunity for local businesses to gain revenue

    Tucson is one of the most cultured cities in the state of Arizona, defined by starving artists, warm community members, and mom-and-pop shops.

    The shops that line Fourth Avenue and Congress Street are now seeing a decrease in revenue, thanks to the streetcar construction.

    Serving his community as an advocate and member for many Tucson boards and committees, Miguel Ortega has taken the initiative to help these struggling shops by launching a campaign called “Move Your Meetings.” This community-driven campaign is designed to encourage struggling stores to host local business meetings, in the efforts of generating revenue.

    Chocolate Iguana, The Hopyard, Caffe Luce, and The District Tavern, all participated in the “Move Your Meetings” kickoff on June 21, in the hope that people will move their meetings from confines of conference rooms to local coffee shops.

    “The mom-and-pops that don’t make it this summer are not going to survive at all,” Ortega told the Arizona Daily Star.

    Hopefully, the money gained by this initiative will be enough to keep these stores above water until their business picks up again during the fall season. For some businesses, however, the damage has already been done.

    As a direct result of the streetcar construction, Enoteca Pizzeria and Wine Bar located on Congress off of Church Avenue, has shut its doors to the public. Restaurant owner Rick Sabbagh told the Arizona Daily Star that construction created financial distress thus leading to its demise.

    Ortega is pushing the publicity of “Move Your Meetings,” as he believes it will prevent owners like Sabbagh from pulling the plug on their once-popular businesses. But why does it matter? Why should anyone care whether or not these local businesses are able to economically thrive throughout their slowest months?

    The fact is Tucson needs its local shops. The hanging welcome signs and colorful exteriors of these businesses are what give Tucson charm. What would this city be without “that-little-shop-on-the-corner-of-so-and-so?”

    It would be nothing short of dull and depressing. Café Passe is the perfect example of a restaurant that contributes to the favored appeal of Fourth Avenue and Congress. The atmosphere of this small eatery is welcoming and relaxed, from their hardwood floors to the quirky art that hangs on the walls.

    Café Passe is also a member of many local organizations and business efforts, such as a non-profit called Local First Arizona, and the Food Conspiracy Co-Op, which is also found on Fourth Avenue. Most importantly, the service provided by employees of this urban little restaurant trumps that of any large-scale franchise.

    What makes this area of Tucson so special are these small-chain, local businesses. They are run by community members trying to make a living with the support of our community. Their incentive isn’t to make millions like consumer-driven corporations and fast food chains. They thrive on community involvement and creating a memorable experience for their guests.

    From University Boulevard to Congress, and everything in between, these shops bring in bustling business from coffee-lovers, meat-eaters, and intellectuals. Whether it’s Caffe Luce’s warm environment, or Chocolate Iguanas’ delicate pastries, Tucson flourishes on the uniqueness of each shop.

    “Move Your Meetings” may be the push these little shops need to keep them alive and well for the duration of the summer, in the hopes that students and Tucson residents are able enjoy the charm of these shops years down the road.

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