A Message from The Covid19 Storytelling Project

We want to take a moment to highlight some amazing innovators in the MKE community this week!

Have you heard about the MKE Strong app? We all know that during this crisis that the heart of our city – small businesses – have fallen on hard times. Some businesses have found ways to give back to the community and garner support, but others haven’t been so fortunate. The MKE Strong app is a way for the Milwaukee community to give back to their favorite hangouts, shops, and establishments so that they can reopen their doors when all of this passes. It’s also a way for these local businesses to let their customers know what services they’re offering.

In hindsight, Paul Lemley (Project Lead) wishes it would’ve been altruism That attracted him to the construction of the MKE Strong app. Admittedly, it was more of a need to stay productive and to build on the momentum of his other no-code apps he already had under his belt. It was the extremely positive reaction of the business community when the first version was released that led to a deeper understanding of the impact the work can have. “If this project contributes to one individual remaining employed or a single business not having to shut down, I’ll be proud of what we all have done.”

Paul leads a team of developers, product engineers, copywriters, designers and marketing pros and small business owners that have a vested interest and energy to ensuring the project is a success. James Gordon (a member of the group) compared the COVID-19 pandemic to the efforts after 911, in regards to how people initially formed coalitions to solve the problems that arose during the aftermath. Yet, they eventually went back to their daily lives and forgot about what a group of ordinary citizens can accomplish together. He impressed upon the entire group that the results of their collaboration did not have to sputter once they all settle into new habits and schedules when the pandemic subsides.

If you can believe it, there are already 500 businesses in the MKE Strong catalog! They’ve seen a surge in users from 2000 to 2400 (and counting). We need your help to get the word out so that we can help our city bounce back from this.

Check out the MKE Strong app to use the app today! Follow #CreamCityStories and @CodeforMilwaukee on Instagram for more information.