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BY KAITLYN MEADE | Tis the season to shop and eat, and what better way to do it than in support of Lower Manhattan’s small businesses? Rally Downtown is a two-day event organized by Startup New York, a non-profit coalition created to support businesses recovering from Superstorm Sandy.
The opening day, Fri., Dec. 7 will be dominated by the Foursquare Scavenger Hunt, in which participants (as individuals or groups) can log on to Foursquare to get a list of unique tasks to be completed at various Downtown venues. After checking in at seven of these shops, retire to The Village Pour House for prizes and a free drink. Among the prizes are one year of free cupcakes from Butter Lane in the East Village, $100 at The Hat Shop in Soho and a $75 gift card to the Little Laptop Shop on the Lower East Side.
The next day, sign up for a “food crawl” to sample Downtown’s many eateries. These family-friendly tours will take place Sat., Dec. 8. Participating establishments will provide free food, discounts, children’s activities and more. Crawls will be taking place in the East Village, West Village, Lower East Side, Chinatown, Tribeca, Chelsea and Murray Hill/Kips Bay. Tickets, $10, and raffle proceeds will be split among participating businesses.
Julie Menin, former chairperson of Community Board 1 who just announced her candidacy for borough president, sent out an online letter in support of the venture. “We hope to increase sales and promote awareness of the struggle many Downtown businesses are facing, and act as a pilot program for future initiatives in other communities devastated by Sandy — Rally Redhook, Rally Rockaways, Rally Staten Island, etc.,” she said.
This is Startup New York’s kick-off event. Their goal is to provide innovative programs to bring in new consumers and boost business across the five boroughs. For more information or to sign up, visit rallydowntown.org.