Downtown Ithaca & Community Partners introduce Ithaca Promise

Downtown, City, Chamber and Local First Ithaca partner to institute commitment to health and safety as businesses reopen.

ITHACA, NY JUNE 12, 2020 — Public health and safety are among the top priorities in the Ithaca and greater Tompkins County community. With this sentiment in mind, the Downtown Ithaca Alliance (DIA), Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce, City of Ithaca, and Local First Ithaca have collaborated to generate The Ithaca Promise, an initiative that provides area businesses and visitors an opportunity to make a special commitment to the community.

Businesses displaying the Ithaca Promise Poster in their storefront window or inside of their business have affirmed they are following industry reopening guidelines outlined by New York State and the Tompkins County Department of Health. These guidelines include:

PROVIDING FACE MASKS FOR ALL EMPLOYEES and ensuring employees are wearing them properly when serving customers inside their business.

PRACTICING NEW CLEANING & DISINFECTING PROGRAMS and hygiene standards to provide a clean space with reduced touchpoints & social interactions inside their business.

MANAGING THE DENSITY OF PEOPLE inside their business and encouraging adequate space for safe social distancing.

RESPONSIBLY MONITORING THE HEALTH OF EMPLOYEES for the safety of customers and the community.

The Ithaca Promise is more than just following the guidance to safely reopen, it’s a dedicated commitment to the process.

The partners in this initiative recognize that it will take a community-wide effort to safely reopen the community. It will take the participation of the businesses working to ensure they are doing everything they can to conduct business with the health and safety of their customers as their primary concern. It also takes participation by customers and the community at large to also follow the guidance.

“To re-engage fully in our community we all need to feel safe. This is the core of the Ithaca Promise. Our businesses pledge to do the things that will make their establishments safe for patrons and customers. In return, customers and patrons pledge to reciprocate. This simple, but profound, community pact will help move us forward in this post COVID world,” says DIA Executive Director Gary Ferguson.

“The Tompkins Chamber signed on to support the Ithaca Promise because first and foremost, it is important that we clearly address this public health crisis and set our shared expectations as a community as we begin to reopen our economy,” adds Jennifer Tavares, president of the Tompkins Chamber. “Also of critical importance are building consumer confidence that our businesses are operating with concern for their safety, helping our workforce feel comfortable as they go back to work, and doing all that we can to support a comprehensive economic recovery that benefits our community in the broadest and most sustainable way.”

“Local businesses are the cornerstone of a healthy and vibrant economy. We are your neighbors and are committed to the health and well being of our community As we move in the direction of reopening, we all need each other’s support. We are a strong and caring community and The Ithaca Promise is our pledge to each other to grow forward in the safest and most compassionate way possible,” says Jan Rhodes Norman, co-founder of Local First Ithaca.

For more information about the Ithaca Promise, visit




Downtown Ithaca Alliance
Darlene M. Wilber, Communications Manager

Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce
Jennifer Tavares, President

City of Ithaca
Tom Knipe, Deputy Director of Economic Development

Local First Ithaca
Jan Norman, Co-Founder or

ABOUT THE DOWNTOWN ITHACA ALLIANCE: The Downtown Ithaca Alliance is a 503(c) not-for-profit organization charged with the revitalization, development, promotion, and management of the Downtown Ithaca Business Improvement District (DIBID). The organization represents the stakeholders, residents, businesses, and property owners in DIBID. For additional information, visit