PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Center City retailers and restaurants are looking for ways to boost business during the pandemic. About 40 businesses Saturday offered discounts and giveaways to attract customers.
Center City businesses were hit hard over the past several months, with closures, then restrictions and loss of jobs because of COVID-19, and destruction and looting during the civil unrest. As retailers and restaunts try to make an economic rebound they need customers to do so. That’s why events like Shop Center City Saturday, organized by the Center City District, are so important.
"This is the third year for this event that we are doing, but this year it is more important than ever. We need to get out and support our businesses right here in Center city," said Kelly McAllister, senior manager of retail marketing and events for the Center City District. "They are open and they are ready to see everyone's faces again in a safe way."
Before the pandemic, food service and retail provided more than 30,000 Center City jobs, according to McAllister.
"That's 13% of jobs downtown. So these businesses were hit really hard, and events like Shop Center City Saturday, Restaurant Week, we really hoped in restoring those jobs for the city," she said.
Among stores offering discounts is Evantine Design. The retail store near 7th and Walnut Streets was offering 10% off.
“We love our customers and we just want to bring them back and get them excited for the new season," said floral expert Lindsay Ingram.
A number of other stores were also offering discounts during Shop Center City Saturday, and some restaurants offered meal deals. There were stretches of street closures to accommodate those enjoying the event.