St. Pete Rising supports downtown businesses, medical community during coronavirus pandemic

There are several ways to help small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, but Brian Zucker took it one step further. “This is a complete grassroots movement,” he said. 

His organization, St. Pete Rising, is using monetary donations to feed nurses and doctors through local restaurant takeout orders. The fundraiser is in partnership with EDGE Guide, a company that promotes the EDGE District of Downtown St Petersburg.

The organization strives to deliver the latest urban development news in downtown St. Petersburg, but Zucker and his colleagues believed they could help out in a different way during the pandemic.

“The fundraiser not only provides a meal for healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, but it also helps local businesses, local restaurants who are offering takeout,” he said.

Friday morning, he went at Lonny’s sandwiches in downtown St. Petersburg to purchase more than 40 sandwiches. The meals were then dropped off to Bayfront Health nurses with words of encouragement attached.

“It says, thank you for your hard work during these difficult times,” Zucker said. “Please enjoy a meal on us. We’ve got your back.”

Zucker said the average donation they receive is $38, but that it doesn’t matter how little or large the contribution is; anything helps at this time.

“Everybody is digging deep right now, and it’s tough because, we don’t know where we’re going to be in a month, or what the world is going to look like in a few weeks,” Zucker explained. “Some people are scared they’re going to lose their jobs, or maybe they’ve already lost their jobs, but people have still found a way to contribute. Even as little as $5.”

Anyone interested in donating can visit their website here.

If you feel sick:

The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions around the clock. Questions may also be emailed to Email responses will be sent during call center hours.

LINK: Florida's COVID-19 website

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