YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — As construction continues in downtown Youngstown, business owners say it’s taking a toll — so they’re putting out a call to action in a new video.
Derrick McDowell owns the Youngstown Flea on the city’s east end.
“As a business owner myself, seeing fellow business owners saying that they’re having trouble, having challenges with foot traffic and sales, it breaks your heart,” McDowell said. “I sought to do something about it. I sought to encapsulate what we’re asking of the community in a video.”
He’s behind We Are: A Generation, which put out a new promotional video for city businesses.
“We’re out to empower our community, to say, ‘We’re the people we’ve been looking for,'” McDowell said.
The We Are: Downtown campaign serves as a call to action to support local business owners, and to put faces to the struggling bars, restaurants, nonprofits and community.
“Construction is part of the problem right now, but there are people behind that problem that are having challenges,” McDowell said.
He says the last 60 days of the year are critical for business owners. He says so far, the campaign has been positively received in the community. He wants people to know that it’s about more than downtown — it’s about supporting the city as a whole.
“We need focus not in just our downtown. We don’t need focus just in our neighborhoods. It’s not either or. It’s both,” McDowell said.
McDowell wants to keep the momentum going with giveaways and other incentives to support local business. He wants business owners to feel like they still have a place in the city, and challenges the community to push through the construction.
“If you don’t believe that there’s good here, I challenge you to come out, to come down, to come and see in the city of Youngstown,” McDowell said.