From dinosaurs to trains to toy birds, at Amato's Toy and Hobby of New Britain, there's a game or figurine around every corner. While business is better for many shops compared to what it was at the beginning of the pandemic, traffic is still down. That's what the “City of New Britain COVID-10 Education and Marketing Program" hopes to address.
"I thought it was a great idea. Anything to get a positive message out," said Steven Amato, owner of Amato's Toy and Hobby of New Britain.
"One of the effects of COVID that we're all too familiar with is the impact that it is having on our local businesses," said New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart (R).
Using some of the CARES Act money from the federal government, Mayor Stewart says the new campaign is geared towards reopening safely and helping customers feel comfortable entering any of the city's shops and restaurants.
"The message is we are open, come support our businesses. We are taking all precautions necessary to keep you safe. We want you to come and support our local shops because they really are the heartbeat of our community," said Stewart.
In addition to marketing, the city says "Re-open, safely" business kits are being delivered to more than 500 businesses which include safety guidelines, best safety practices, sanitizer, a mask, and a contactless instrument. And city directories are being mailed to New Britain homes.
"I hope it will reinforce everybody's safety standards, and I hope it'll make people feel safe to come out and shop," said Amato.
For a look at a list of New Britain businesses, you can head here: https://visitnbct.com/