The 16 blocks that make up the Cherry Creek North shopping area consists of about 150 small businesses.
Nick LeMasters, president and CEO of the Cherry Creek North Business Improvement District (BID), said he is “quite proud of all of Cherry Creek North for its resiliency through the pandemic.”
About half of Cherry Creek North’s small businesses are owned or co-owned by women. While all of the small businesses in the district stepped up to survive the pandemic, the women business owners especially shined, LeMasters said.
They advanced their outreach with technology and ad campaigns; they were creative, especially in terms of catering to their customers’ needs; and they embraced all COVID-19 regulations such as wearing masks, ensuring social distancing for their employees and customers and made hand sanitizer readily available.
“These are smart and sophisticated business owners,” LeMasters said.
The BID also did what it could to support them, LeMasters added. For restaurants, there was a signage program to remind people they were open for curbside pickup and takeout, in addition to a gift card program to prompt a return visit. The BID made PPE — personal protection equipment — available to any store or business owner that needed it, and the BID promoted COVID-safe special events, such as the Winter Wanderland and Holiday Market. The annual sidewalk sale is also expected to take place this July.
“We recognize that the pandemic has not disappeared from our lives,” LeMasters said. But “Cherry Creek North is poised to emerge from the pandemic. When we return (completely), it will be robust.”
As difficult as it has been, he said, LeMasters was happy to report that there have been very few permanent closures in Cherry Creek North during the past year of the pandemic. And additionally, LeMasters said, there have been a number of new openings or announcements to open.
Cherry Creek North’s outdoor environment probably contributes to people feeling safe and comfortable enough to experience Cherry Creek North — whether it be for shopping, dining, exercising in a gym, relaxing at a spa or staying in a hotel.
“Cherry Creek has long been ranked as one of the top tourist attractions in Colorado, and Denver,” LeMasters said. “You want to see a neighborhood like this thrive, not just survive.”