#HollistonTogether Supports Your Local Business

J.D. O’Gara
HCAT PSA Series Sets Out to Give ALL Holliston Businesses a Boost
Issue Date: 
June, 2020
Article Body: 

There’s no doubt that Covid-19 has taken its toll on local businesses, and although the guidelines of Massachusetts’ four-phase reopening plan put forth on May 18th offered some hope for our economy, the easing of restrictions will take place gradually. Holliston Cable Access TV (HCAT) has embarked on an initiative to remind residents that many businesses in town are still operating, if not with curbside service, remotely. Their patronage could be a lifeline for local entrepreneurs.
“They’re part of the fabric of Holliston, and in the wake of Covid-19, they could potentially lose quite a lot of business,” says John Drohan, HCAT board member. HCAT, he says, which enjoys a strong following on social media outlets like Facebook, recognizes how important these businesses are to town. It created #HollistonTogether, which will include a series of public service announcements (PSA’s) to promote retailers, service providers, restaurateurs and others who have set up shop in Holliston.
As HCAT put in an email to town businesses and entities, “The campaign will involve a series of public service announcements (PSA) for specific sectors of the different businesses (gifts, food, restaurants, services etc.) so as not to leave anyone out. We will go to businesses and have brief interviews with owners and get video footage and edit it into a short 60 second PSA. The idea is to try to make as many of these as possible so they can run perpetually on HCAT as well as on any social media. The concept is that we - meaning the entire town - (HCAT, businesses, groups, residents and possibly even the town itself) promote and sustain the movement. We all know that supporting local business is important, however now it has become critical to the survival of the cornerstone of our community.
This is not only for the brick and mortar businesses but ANYONE who has a business based out of Holliston.”
“We’ll produce PSA’s in groups – people that sell gifts, people that serve food, people that provide service, like dentists and chiropractors. We want to try to move on this quickly, because time is of the essence,” says Drohan, who likens the effort to Disney Channel-style commercials a series of those to try to include all Holliston businesses. We’re not doing it as advertising. We just want to make people aware they’re there as a reminder and encouragement to shop locally.”
Pilot one, says Drohan, will include “all the tchotchke places that sell little gifts, like the Grapevine, Fiske’s, Holliston Antiques, the message being these guys are open and don’t worry, they’ll be social distancing and taking all the precautions. The ones that I’ll do in the first round – they will be open. The goal is to get everybody. We don’t want to leave any Holliston-based business out.”
Drohan envisions engaging the Town in the effort, which will include lawn and storefront signs with the #HollistonTogether hashtag and a logo created by Bruce Gilfoy, HCAT Director.
“Basically, we want to help out the community as much as possible,” says Gilfoy, who explains that the concept arose from a brainstorming Zoom meeting with local merchants put together by Mary Greendale. “The main thing that HCAT can do is off these services to these businesses at no charge.”
Gilfoy is also working on doing short tours of businesses narrated by the owners as part of a separate programming, separate from but related to the #HollistonTogether PSAs.
“We’re willing to profile them, almost like a virtual tour of their store,” says Gilfoy. “That’s what cable access is all about, helping out the community. I think a lot of businesses will take advantage of it.”
Contact him directly if you would like to schedule one of these at bruce@hcattv.org.
At Holliston Local Town Pages mid-May deadline, the effort was gearing up quickly to shoot the pilot on gift shops by the end of the third week of May, with Drohan confident HCAT’s editor had the skills to turn the media pieces around quickly for airing.