It’s been a rough winter; that’s something that no Bostonian needs to be told twice. After one of the snowiest months in this city’s history—99 inches and counting!—and a record four days of canceled class in one semester here at BC, it’s safe to say that everyone on the eastern seaboard is ready for it to be over.
The snow has wreaked enough physical havoc on the city of Boston: collapsed roofs, narrow icy roads, and we’re not even going to start talking about the (literal) train wreck of the T. But equally damaging and harder to see is the impact on local businesses, which suffer enough already in the slow winter months without record-breaking snowfall to negatively impact their customer base.
The weather has had Mayor Marty Walsh (a BC alum, WCAS ’09) running ragged. Poor Mayor Walsh was famously quoted in a recent press conference about the weather: “I don’t know what to say to anybody anymore. Hopefully it will stop eventually.” But despite the toll that the extreme weather has taken, the mayor has an optimistic plan that could help local businesses while encouraging Bostonians to have a little fun.
This week, the mayor’s Office of Economic Development unveiled the Boston Bingo campaign, a fun initiative to get people to visit local businesses to make up for the storms’ effects. The categories are all up for interpretation, and those who participate are eligible to win prizes—the Bingo board and rules for entry can be viewed on the mayor’s website.
Looking at the board, it’d be pretty easy for a BC student to complete all or most of these categories without going too far out of their comfort zone; a trip to Moogy’s, El Pelon or even Mary Ann’s could fill a space on the board. Or if you’re getting cabin fever or looking for adventure, Boston Bingo could be the perfect excuse to finally check out that thrift shop, café or bookstore you’ve been meaning to visit.
You might even be able to save some money on your outing. Select restaurants in the area have banded together with “Dig Out, Dine Out”, an initiative to provide discounts to customers. Local museums, theaters and art houses are in on it too, so you can go take in some culture at a reasonable price. Now that the T is getting back to normal, even riding the train could help bolster the financial woes hitting the transit authority.
It’s “treat yo’self” meets “men and women for others”—by going out, shopping, enjoying a meal or even grabbing a coffee, you’ll make yourself happy and help out a local business that may be struggling after this historically awful winter. Jazz up your spring break “staycation” or take a study break before you leave town, grab your friends, and go lend a hand as Boston digs out its local businesses!
Are you going to take up Mayor Walsh’s challenge? Remember to share photos of your local business adventures on social media with the hashtag #BosBINGO, and share them with us @therockatbc too!