Oakland, CA November 19, 2014 On November 28, for the sixth consecutive year, the Lake Merritt/Uptown & Downtown Oakland Community Benefit Districts will join the City of Oakland and many other local organizations to encourage residents, commuters and visitors to support local small businesses by shopping in Oakland on Plaid Friday. This mall-ternative campaign will include many businesses citywide, including more than 40 businesses located in the Downtown and Lake Merritt/Uptown community benefit districts. The concept of Plaid Friday is similar to the way different color threads are woven together to create a durable plaid designmany small businesses in Oakland have come together to establish a strong retail platform that is continuing to flourish, said Steve Snider, District Manager of the Lake Merritt/Uptown District and Downtown Oakland Associations. Plaid Friday is a key component of Oakland Grown, a nonprofit/buy local program celebrating and supporting independent businesses and artists and is supported by the City of Oakland, East Bay Express, the Lake Merritt/Uptown District and Downtown Oakland Associations, The Jack London Improvement District, Oaklandish, Oakland In The Black, and more. Other partners in this years Plaid Friday activities include KRON 4 and Visit Oakland, to name a few. Oaklands many local shops, boutiques, art galleries, bars, restaurants and cafes throughout Uptown, Downtown and Jack London Square will encourage patrons to wear plaid to show their support for Oaklands locally-focused alternative to the traditional day after Thanksgiving retail event. The City of Oakland will be offering free parking on Plaid Friday, at every City-metered space throughout Oakland and will be free for the time period posted on the meter or Kiosk. To support the growth of the citys retail sector, the community benefit districts have developed a holiday shopping guide complete with a walking map and contact information for more than 79 retailers with outlets in Downtown and Uptown Oakland. More information on this can be seen here. Amongst the many ongoing holiday-season festivities, a holiday pop-up will be alive and well at Jack London Square on December 5.
###The Downtown Oakland and Lake Merritt/Uptown District Associations were formed in February 2009. Property owners in both Downtown Oakland and the Lake Merritt/Uptown Districts voted by a margin of almost 8 to 1 to support a voluntary property tax to fund services that would improve the quality of life in their respective communities. The associations meet and function jointly. Services funded by these Districts include maintaining cleanliness and order in the public rights of way, improving district identity and advocating on behalf of the areas property owners, business owners and residents. In June 2013, the districts were recognized by the International Downtown Association (IDA) and named the IDAs June Downtown of the Month.