"The Other Dome" in Syracuse is where community members have built a space for small businesses to continue business during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"There’s probably more small businesses and non-for-profits per square foot in Central New York than there are honestly in most other parts of the entire country," says Michael John Heagerty, co-creator of #TheOtherDomeSYR.
That’s why Michael John Heagerty is dedicated to creating spaces for these small businesses to thrive.
Directly beneath Wildflower Armory, you’ll find an indoor mall of sorts, The McCarthy Mercantile. It's a place for small businesses to safely sell their products.
"The McCarthy Mercantile is a dream vision I've had for years. And so now we have all these small businesses under one roof and that’s the idea as The Other Dome SYR. A bunch of opportunities for small businesses in Syracuse," says Heagerty.
Across the street from The McCarthy Mercantile, you’ll find “The Other Dome”, another vision of Heagerty's and another dedication to small businesses.
"What they’ve done is they’ve taken the sturdy large arena-sized model and shrunk it down to a more manageable small size for businesses during COVID," says Ryan Lynch, vice president of Product Domes For Life.
With the approval of the Syracuse Urban Renewal Agency, the 15 foot dome will give 30 small businesses and non-profits a free space to sell their products -- one business a day, for 30 days.
"On Monday you go by that tent they have hot cocoa; on Tuesday there will be a professional dancer in there; on Wednesday they’re going to have a coat drive," says Heagerty.
A diverse group of businesses such as Safe Space CNY, an organization whose focus is on mental health, and helping people on their road to recovery.
"This puts my business right out in the open. Here in the middle of downtown it gives me the opportunity to meet and mingle with a different population of people," says Safe Space CNY Founder Tracy Bergler.
Once the geodome is finished, organizers say it will be Syracuse winter-proof — able to withstand 400 pounds of snow and 70 mile per hour winds. But most importantly, it will be fun and safe for visitors.
"Heat, air conditioning for the warmer climates, bluetooth speakers, and finally most important — it was designed for cover, so we have a HEPA filtration system so it turns the air over every 10 minutes," says Lynch.
For Heagerty, this is a great beginning to his campaign to supporting local business and unique experiences.
"I will continue to promote small businesses, continue to try to create opportunities," says Heagerty.