LIGHTHOUSE POINT INITIATIVE TO SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES AMID COVID-19
BY MARIE PULEO | LIGHTHOUSE POINT NEWS REPORTER
LIGHTHOUSE POINT INITIATIVE: The City recently launched a new initiative to support local Lighthouse Point businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In June, Lighthouse Point Mayor Glenn Troast and the City Commission decided to have yard signs made that say: Shop Local, Eat Local, Support Local.
The yard signs are being made available to Lighthouse Point business owners and residents free of charge. Business owners can put the signs in front of their business or in their shop window.
“The goal is to encourage, support and promote businesses in Lighthouse Point as they recover from the shutdown caused by COVID-19,” said Troast.
The signs can be picked up at City Hall, weekdays, 8am-4pm, while supplies last. Even though City Hall is currently closed to the public, a box of signs, as well as the frames that go with them, will be placed outside in the morning. The limit is one sign per household.
One hundred yard signs were printed, but if there is demand, more will be made. The budget to print the signs is $1,500. The initial design for the sign was done by a Lighthouse Point graphic designer with an expertise in marketing. The design services were provided to the City at no charge.
Four large banners were also made, and were placed in prominent places throughout the city to kick off a social media campaign.
The banners include the phrase: “LHP Residents – Tag Your Faves.” They also include hashtags that people can use on their social media posts: #ShopLocalLHP, #EatLocalLHP, #SupportLocalLHP and #CityofLHP.
The hope is that when residents are out patronizing their favorite local businesses they will do a post on their social media mentioning the name of the business, and then end the post with one or all of the hashtags.
If people see that others are out dining or shopping in Lighthouse Point, and CDC guidelines for COVID-19 are being followed, they might be encouraged to go out and support local businesses as well, said Parks and Recreation Director Becky Lysengen, who is also in charge of the City’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
“Hopefully people will start seeing it and it will become a social media trend,” said Lysengen. “We really would like the residents’ help with that.”
The new banners and signs – which were printed by The UPS Store in The Shoppes at Beacon Light – are in addition to other measures the City currently has in place to help local businesses.
In March, Mayor Troast issued an order allowing businesses to put up signs that normally would be prohibited – flag signs, banner signs, sandwich boards and sidewalk signs – to try to draw people into their businesses.
In May, an order was issued allowing restaurants in Lighthouse Point to temporarily use parking areas for additional outdoor seating.
The number of COVID-19 cases, positivity rates and hospitalizations continue to rise in South Florida, due in part to some patrons and businesses not complying with requirements for facial coverings and social distancing.
On Wednesday, Broward County issued an order that increases penalties for businesses in non-compliance.
The new County order went into effect on Friday.
According to the order, a business will be forced to close for 24 hours after its first citation, and with each subsequent citation it must close for an additional 72 hours. For example, a 96-hour closure after a second citation, and a 168-hour closure after a third citation. Repeat violations will be subject to a fine of up to $15,000.
In addition, restaurants and other food establishments must discontinue on-premise consumption of food and alcoholic beverages between 10pm and 5am. Pick-up, delivery and drive-through service is still permitted during these hours.
To further protect patrons, seating at restaurants and other food establishments is limited to six people per table, unless everyone is from the same household, in which case, the limit is ten people. On-premises consumption of food or beverage is only permitted while patrons are seated at their table.
The County is urging residents to report business violations online at Mybroward.Broward.org or by calling 311, which can be done anonymously.