In the fall of 2009, city staff attended a UNC Communication Studies class where students described their perceptions of Greeley. With intent to bridge the cultural gap, the city staff recruited students to spearhead a campaign encouraging students to discover the city that is their 'home away from home." Other organizations joined the project including the Greeley Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Development Authority, and University Representatives.
In the spring of 2010, UNC junior, Sarah Flanagan served as the first student intern to work on this campaign – Operation Bear Aware (OBA). With her help, and that of subsequent interns Eric Schrader, Annie Mihulka, Anna Prybylski, Samantha Varvir, Braun Galisewski, Caitlin Marsh, Lindsey Rowe, Alex Black, David Butkus, Kimberly Searcy, and Kirstin Graber, Greeley focused on becoming a college friendly town. The first goal was to encourage students to explore Greeley and then measure the number of students who shop and dine at local businesses or use city facilities. Students were asked to sign up whenever they visited OBA businesses.
In addition to winning prizes, students were given the challenge that if 6,000 students signed up, the city would change the name of 11th Avenue to Bear Boulevard between the 20th street and 24th street. In four semesters, more than 6,000 students met that challenge! New and continuing efforts are further strengthening the relationship between students and the city and business community of Greeley.
Bear Biz is the newest campaign moniker. Specific businesses have agreed to provide a discount to any UNC student who shows their student ID. These businesses include coffee shops, salons, restaurants, financial institutions, entertainment, retail shops and many more. Watch our Facebook and Twitter posts for featured promotions and like and share Bear Biz Greeley on social media to get more discounts!
If you are a business in Greeley and would like to expand your products or services to UNC Student, please check out the Become A Bear Biz page on this site. There are plenty of opportunities and thousands of students waiting for you to become a Bear Biz partner.