Perry virtual race helps small businesses

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    MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)– The city of Perry created a unique way for people to support local businesses during the pandemic.

    The Perry Main Street Program partnered with the City of Perry to create the “Run Big, Shop Small Virtual Race” to support small businesses.

    The online race costs $30 and is taking place between July 18- 26. Participants were given a t-shirt made by a local store. They also got a bag full of coupons and discount cards, as well as information about businesses in downtown Perry.

    Cheri Roberts, the Customer Service Manager at Casserole Shop, says that the virtual race has given the shop a boost in business already.

    “We’ve had a lot more traffic on the street, and people coming in,” Roberts said, “We’ve had so many people come in recently who have never even heard of us.”

    Roberts says downtown businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic.

    “Well, I know a lot of people had to close. They had to shut down for everything going on just to keep everyone safe. So there was a good few months where it was just very slow out here,” Roberts stated.

    All of the proceeds from the virtual race went towards creating an emergency fund for Perry businesses to keep them afloat throughout the rest of the pandemic.

    Main Street Coordinator, Haley Bryant says although this fundraiser is over, there are other ways to support small businesses.

    “Yes, you can sign up for a virtual 5K right, and go to support those downtown Perry businesses but at the end of the day, you should shop local,” Bryant said, “Supporting those businesses, being an advocate for them, sharing their things on social media, buying a gift card, stopping in and saying hi. I just think the most important thing is to support that local economy.”

    The Main Street Program is planning their next virtual race for when temperatures cool down a little more. In the meantime, you can participate in the Perry Sidewalk sale on August 8, to help Perry’s local economy for the end of summer.

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    Peyton Lewis is a 20-year-old reporter from Stockbridge, Georgia. She graduated in December of 2019 with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia. She found a love for reporting after receiving a video camera for her 8th birthday. She and her friends would make mock newscasts in her backyard other creative content. Peyton's love for writing and creating videos pushed her to pursue journalism. In order to kick-start her dream of being a reporter, she left the traditional high school experience at the age of 16 to attend Gordon State College as a full-time student. She graduated with her Associate's degree two weeks before graduating from high school. Previously, Peyton worked as a news intern for 11 Alive in Atlanta, a radio intern for the Joy FM, and a reporter/ technical manager for Grady Newsource. Peyton dreams to become an investigative reporter that leaves a lasting impact on the world around her. She loves Disney, dogs, spicy food, musicals, and her family. Peyton also enjoys reading, watching movies, cheering on the Dawgs, and going on new adventures.