BRYAN, TX — As Texas starts its first phase of reopening with retail to-go, shopping small and shopping local will make all the difference.
The small mom-and-pop stores is what makes downtown Bryan special, and they are what will help this city recover after the coronavirus.
Downtown Bryan Association's Executive Director, Sandy Farris, says downtown is the heart of the city.
“It just combines to make a really personal atmosphere. It’s not replicated in any bright shining mall or anything like that. It’s definitely a family down here,” explains Farris.
During the coronavirus outbreak, Main Street went quiet as the mom and pop stores and restaurants had to temporarily close their doors to customers.
"What we’ve tried to do throughout this time is just keep downtown upper mind in the community,” says Farris.
Staples in the community like the Old Bryan Marketplace, have been forced to get innovative and creative throughout the shelter in place.
They're now adjusting to retail to-go.
“We began a series of Facetime Fridays, where our clients could call in, we schedule times and tour them through the store and show them new products," explains Grant Conlee of Old Bryan Marketplace. "Then it allowed them to reorder things they already knew that they liked.”
And retail to-go is the first step to getting downtown merchants back to business as normal.
“Our merchants are some of the most resilient and very smart people," says Farris. "It was a leap of faith for them to open in a downtown."
Shopping small and shopping local is the best way you can help get the local economy back on its feet.
As the Brazos Valley goes through its phases of reopening, Downtown Bryan will continue being the living room of the city.