‘Open Air Saturdays’ helps people support small businesses

Providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Providence boasts a vibrant art scene that attracts people from all over the world.

Amidst the pandemic, artists may still be creating, but storefronts have been struggling to sell the local craft in traditional ways.

“Getting people to support the small businesses that kind of create the cultural fabric that we all love downtown,” said Joanna Levitt, Director Of Marketing at Cornish Associates.

InDowncity is aiming to help these local businesses thrive and get people out to enjoy what makes Providence unique, while staying safe.

“They’re very much in support of each other and wish each other well and so it’s nice,” said Ashley Symons, of InDowncity.

“Open Air Saturdays” began August 1, and will run through the fall.

Westminster Street was closed to cars from Union Street down to Eddy Street. People were encouraged to wear masks even while outside, as well as stop at the hand sanitizer station so they could clean their hands before enjoying the shops.

“We have sanitizer at the door. We have gloves for everybody so they have to either wear gloves or sanitize because this is a very tactile store and you have to pick everything up and touch it,” said Darrien Segal, Artist and Manager at Craftland.

Craftland has to limit the number of customers in store to about four or five at a time. Segal said he has been impressed with how willing customers are to wait their turns and wear masks.

He is embracing this new Saturday program to attract even more customers back to the brick and mortar shops.

“Hopefully people come out and yeah, I think it’s a great idea!”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Providence

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