This Is Tucson: Tucson is clearly a town of innovators. Here are 5 inspiring local business pivots.

This Is Tucson. It turns out there's nothing like a global pandemic to take your creativity to the next level. 

And we have to say, we are impressed. 

In the last month, local businesses have closed their physical doors only to reconvene virtually with genius ideas. 

We always knew Tucson was a town of innovators.

From fitness classes going online to a virtual version of the Fourth Avenue Street Fair, there are so many creative ways to engage with your favorite businesses without leaving your house. 

 "The whole model that we teach as part of our startup methodology is focused on being able to pivot really quickly and constantly be in touch with your customers and trying to reach their needs," says Dre Thompson, the executive vice president of the local nonprofit Startup Tucson. "So this has been a great test for us as now it's time to practice what we preach." 

Thompson says the Startup Tucson has been working to help local businesses adapt. For creative entrepreneurs, Startup Tucson organized last week's Live from Startup Studios series to showcase and fundraise for Tucson musicians. Now, Startup Tucson is working with Vantage West and Brink Media to create a virtual market for local businesses. 

As part of Startup Tucson's coaching and education services, Thompson says she is constantly talking with small business owners about how to identify existing strengths and skills and then monetize them — even if that looks different from business as usual. She gives the example of a weddings and event company that is now pivoting to offer consultations and vision boards for brides. For many businesses, this has been the push needed to create an online presence and stop saving it for "someday," she says. 

"Everyone is trying to be creative to the max," she says. "This is really hard for these companies, because everything they're used to doing has been taken away from them. But (we're saying to them) your expertise and knowledge and skills are still there and no one can take that away from you. How can we look at putting that on a platform?"

Obviously, there are businesses all over Tucson launching creative ways to continue connecting with customers. The following are just five examples. 

Note: All of of these businesses are adapting as things change. Check with each individual business for updated information. 

Read the full article here.

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