In January, the Tucson group contacted Rocco’s Little Pizzeria in Chicago on East Broadway, under construction, with plans to boost his business. Owner Anthony DiGrazia said the proposal couldn’t have come at a better time. His business was affected not only by the pandemic, but also by road widening construction that had been going on for years, limiting access to his 22-year-old restaurant.
“People don’t come down to Broadway unless they have to,” said DiGrazia, who has started offering delivery for the first time in 22 years in business in an attempt to recoup some of the lost revenue .
On the first day of the weekend boost in January, however, his ovens died and he had to shut down.
“A bunch of people showed up and unfortunately… we were closed,” he said.
But the next day, with the ovens on, these people came back and occupied the restaurant all weekend, DiGrazia said.
“The very nice people at Boost ended up buying gift certificates online to help us out,” he added.
“Tucson is probably one of the top performing groups because of the activity and the willingness of the ambassadors to take over,” Johnson said.
Keep Local Alive now has campaigns in 84 cities across the country and growing, Johnson added. He and Loveland plan to continue the movement even after relaunching their startup, Yocal, an app that helps consumers identify truly independent local businesses.