Text: R. Collins
Not so long ago, trolleys and pedal pubs full of jubilant pub and business crawlers could be found perusing Bridge Street and the larger downtown Grand Rapids area. While the streets have been quieter the last couple of months, the crawl concept is returning to Grand Rapids as of Friday, March 29th.
Designed to help local small businesses regain their footing, the Small Business Crawl is a ‘bar crawl’ meets ‘shopping spree’ with a digital passport full of specials from favorite local businesses., according to the event page.
So far, participating businesses comprise Gemini Handmade, Long Road Distillers, and One Bourbon, with more coming soon. The self-guided crawl lasts one month, and other crawl areas include Traverse City, Detroit, and Northern Michigan. They are free for businesses to participate in, and shoppers can pay $10 for a digital passport full of exclusive offers and discounts by local businesses that will last throughout 2020. Through the passport, shoppers can also earn rewards.
With 10 or more digital passport stamps from businesses they visit, crawlers earn a shirt designed by a local screen printer and artist affected by COVID-19. They can also enter into drawings at the close of the event with 15 stamps or more, and 20 or more earns them the chance to win the grand prize, in this case hotel accommodations at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Grand Rapids, and gifts certificates for dinner at Big E’s Sports Grill, as well as a private local distillery tour.
Photography: Tim Mossholder, Unsplash