“One really good day of sales a week could be a game changer.”
The Oneonta Common Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to move forward with a plan to boost business by closing down Main Street. Businesses would be allowed to use the street for better social distancing, and for businesses like Speedy’s Coins and Jewelry at Oneonta Coin, Owner Nora Lisanti’Ortiz says the move could be a lifesaver.
"We have brought stuff out into the sidewalk and the street before and it has boosted the business. It quadrouples what your daily take in is."
Pizza Maker Matthew Paulis says the seating at Sal’s Pizzeria is limited to half capacity, and he thinks the move can only help business.
"I know they’ve done it in neighboring and regional cities around here I believe, so it’s been a good thing there and I think anything to really combat the fact that we’re only able to be at half capacity would be great."
Resident’s like Wilford Dejesus and Paul Ruffo will have to find alternative traffic routes, but it is only for eight Saturdays.
"I feel they should try it, and if it doesn’t work out do something else, and we’ll always learn from this problems that happen you know."
"Small businesses are really what we’re made of, and we should do anything that we can to support the small businesses, especially with what’s been going on with the virus and everything, and they’ve been closed for so long."
Businesses will have from 9 am to 9:30 pm to try and boost sales, however some shop owners like Wiseguys Owner Mike Joubert believe this one day a week event isn’t going to completely change their business.
"I don’t think it’s going to affect my sales negatively. Will it make them skyrocket? I’m not sure about that, but that’s not really what it’s about. In my opinion people really need some normalcy right now."
Efren Rivera is the Owner of Nina’s Pizzeria & Restaurant. He doesn't know how the move will affect sales, but he's all for the idea of bringing people back to downtown.
"We don’t know yet. I think people are looking for a place to go out and do something because everybody’s been under lockdown, and hopefully this will change everything around. It will bring people downtown."
The Common Council is considering taking similar steps to help businesses throughout the City.