OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — 3 News Now is telling the stories of people, plans and projects that show how Omaha is moving forward.
Maya Saenz spoke with a local group that was started to boost the local economy and help business move forward during the pandemic.
"There's both a social and an economic hard impact on supporting the locally owned, independent mom-and-pop businesses," said Jason Feldman.
He is all about supporting local businesses and now he's a lead ambassador for Keep Local Alive Omaha.
It's a group that started on Facebook after the pandemic hit and has greatly impacted businesses.
"So, almost exactly a year ago, for about a month after everything shut down, everyone was really excited to support local and then a lot of that, from what I heard from a lot of business owners, was that it just kinda of fizzled out,” said Feldman.
Ambassadors like Feldman started their efforts by promoting one business at a time online; getting their members, who are called their boost crew, to support each business.
“It was great that we were helping one business, but there were so many others that we wanted to help. We wanted to help the small local retailers and the barbershops, and the places that weren't just able to just take a big influx in sales,” said Feldman.
The group then started doing more large-scale boost events in entire neighborhoods.
They recently did an event in Dundee and recruited neighborhood level ambassadors, who are business owners or neighborhood leaders.
"They gave me the steps to really go round and promote and talk to local businesses about what it's like to be a part of the dundee community,” said Robin Heller, owner of Dundee Flea.
"And I went around to every local business within a couple of days and said, ‘This is something that I want you to be a part of.’ And the reception was so nice and it's something that people aren't used to because you're really getting something for nothing. You're getting that piece, that ‘wait a minute, they're gonna do what, and promote local businesses? What's it cost?’ And it's really just a networking ability for us businesses to all get involved with each other and find a way to support each other in the community,” said Heller.
To learn more about Keep Local Alive, watch Maya’s entire report above or on our streaming app.