PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — With the pandemic impacting many businesses, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza encouraged everyone Tuesday to shop local this holiday season, especially on Small Business Saturday.
In contrast to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday is meant to garner support for local online and brick-and-mortar businesses.
“The pandemic forced many industries to adapt and show resiliency amidst uncertainty,” Elorza said. “Providence’s small business community has triumphed, finding new ways to thrive and provide for our community.”
In Rhode Island, small businesses make up 98% of registered businesses and provide jobs to 57% of all people who are employed in the state. This means when people shop local, they’re helping their own communities thrive.
“As we relaunched the ‘Buy Local RI’ campaign last holiday season, small businesses were struggling to survive and didn’t know what the next day, week or month might bring,” Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau president and CEO Kristen Adamo said. “Those struggles, while maybe not as dire, still exist this holiday season.”
This year, Elorza said the capital city is showcasing its locally-owned restaurants as places to remember during the holiday shopping season.
“Some might assume that opening a brand-new restaurant during a pandemic would be daunting, but for us, we were simply chasing our dream: to serve the Providence community by providing space for families and friends to convene and share a meal,” Stephen White, co-owner of Res American Bistro, said.
Providence is also home to a number of locally-owned retail shops that sell goods for everyone.
“This holiday season, we are offering six holiday boxes full of products that are from Providence-based artists, RI-based social enterprises, women-owned and women-supporting organizations, RI-based businesses of color, and others,” Founder and CEO of Giving Beyond the Box Sandra Enos said.
As the city has offered in year’s past, parking in Providence’s commercial districts will be free for up to two hours beginning Saturday.
Free parking will be available from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily through New Year’s Eve in the following designated areas:
- Angell Street
- Atwells Avenue – Bradford Street to Knight Street
- Spruce Street – Dean Street to Acorn Street
- Dean Street – Atwells Avenue to West Exchange Street
- Acorn Street – Spruce Street to Atwells Avenue
- Bradford Street – Atwells Avenue to Jones Street
- Bond Street – Atwells Avenue to Spruce Street
- Broad Street – Public Street to Montgomery Street
- Downtown Providence – bounded by Fountain Street, Memorial Boulevard, Weybosset Street, Empire Street and Friendship Street (from Dyer Street to Dorrance Street)
- Hope Street – Rochambeau Avenue to Blackstone Boulevard
- North Main Street – Thomas Street to Park Row
- Olneyville Square – Route 10 to Sydney Street and Delaine Street to Atwood Street to Magnolia Street
- South Main Street – James Street to Packet Street
- Point Street – From Eddy to East Franklin Street
- Thayer Street – Bowen Street to Waterman Street
- Wayland Square – East Angell Street/Angell Street to Gano Street and Wayland Avenue from Angell Street to Pitman Street
- Waterman Avenue
- Wickenden/Ives – Wickenden Street at Benefit Street to Ives Street at Preston Street