For 18 months, COVID has devastated the globe.
It’s also been really good for Westport.
That’s the counterintuitive — but strongly held — view of Dave Briggs.
“People are reluctant to say it. And I’m not downplaying all the damage it’s done, and the lives it’s impacted,” says the longtime Westporter, and former Fox News, NBC Sports and CNN broadcaster.
“But because of COVID, we have hundreds of new residents who love it here. Downtown is being revived. It feels alive. New stores are opening. The vacancy rate is way down.
“There are new restaurants everywhere. There’s so much positive energy all over town.”
Briggs says it’s “tragic” that some restaurants and shops did not make it through the pandemic.
For the many that did though, it’s time to do three things.
“Let’s introduce our businesses to our residents, new and old. Let’s help them out, by telling their stories. And let’s celebrate what they’ve done to our town during COVID.”
Briggs is just the guy to do it.
For a number of months he’s parlayed his media background into a series of Instagram Live interviews, with intriguing area residents. Now he’s taking his platform one step further.
Using Instagram Live, Facebook Live (both @DaveBriggsTV), and then archived on his YouTube channel, he’ll highlight local business owners.
Restaurants, retail stores, spas, gyms, services like Vivid-Tek and home stagers — all will be part of his as-yet-unnamed venture. So will businesses like Merican Mule (premium cocktail brand) and Q-Collar (concussion product), which are locally based, yet still low-profile.
First up: The Granola Bar.
“Julie (Mountain) and Dana (Noorily) are two of my favorite business owners,” Briggs says.
“They started from the ground up with a coffee shop, when I’m sure many people said ‘Don’t do it.’ Now they have 5 stores, and a truck. They’ve got a great story.”
Briggs envisions other subjects, including people who are thinking about starting their own business.
He likes the immediacy of Instagram Live and Facebook Live (and knows that different people prefer one over the other). Both offer the ability to ask questions and respond in real time.
Social media is “a small business’s best medium to tell people about themselves,” Briggs says. “But not a lot of owners know how to use it well.”
Dave Briggs does.
Click on. Tune in. And celebrate all the good things that came out of COVID.
(Watch @DaveBriggsTV on Instagram Live and Facebook Live. Got an idea? Email DaveBriggs1976@gamil.com.)