Photo by Shawn Hoke via Flickr

The aftereffects of the hurricane can still be felt as small businesses in New York City struggle to get back on their feet. To help Lower Manhattan recover, organizations and small businesses have partnered to launch Rally Downtown—a two day “Shop Local” event on December 7th and 8th.

The goal of Rally Downtown is to promote sales and increase awareness of the struggling Lower Manhattan businesses. Rally Downtown will help participating businesses recover and act as a test model for future initiatives for other affected communities.

Friday involves a Foursquare scavenger hunt, where you check-in to participating restaurants, stores and bars to unlock specials, complete missions and win prizes. The second part of Rally Downtown on Sunday features six food-crawls, sponsored by, passing through neighborhoods such as the East Village, Chelsea and Murray Hill.

Local businesses like The Cardinal in the East Village suffered tremendous difficulties during and after the storm and are still working to get back on their feet

Participating businesses for Rally Downtown include Mercer Street Books, City Winery, Madame X, Blue Dog Café, Crema, Ciao for Now, Butter Lane Cupcakes and Greenwich Village Bistro. Proceeds from the food-crawl tickets will be pooled and distributed among participating vendors.

—Gabriella Tutino