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Thousands turn out for open container event in Sanford for Small Business Saturday

Downtown experiments with new way to bring back old customers

SANFORD, Fla. – For the first time, a popular stretch of downtown Sanford allowed shoppers to walk around with open containers as part of an event promoting Small Business Saturday.

It’s all part of a new push to entice old customers to come back and safely shop this weekend.

Back on Halloween, downtown Orlando enacted a similar setup, but that ended up getting criticized for overcrowding.

“We probably won’t be doing that again,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said shortly thereafter.

Christina Hollerbach serves as the President of Sanford Main Street and is also the CEO of Hollerbach’s Willow Street Cafe on East 1st Street. Hollerbach told News 6 she’s optimistic Sanford won’t repeat Orlando’s mistakes.

“We’re still seeing everybody be respectful of one another,” she explained. “Wearing masks, keeping distances, coming into shops with masks. This is exactly what we wanted.”

Downtown Sanford
Downtown Sanford (WKMG 2020)

Businesses such as Jeanine Taylor Folk Art hope to make up for lost time in the business they see this holiday weekend. The pandemic forced this folk-art gallery to see a 35% drop in business.

Just next door, Magpies co-owner Chris Wise worked the door to make sure their store wasn’t crowded inside.

“Probably the biggest [Small Business Saturday] yet,” he said. The weather, the people, everybody was really looking forward to this day. It’s been banner. It’s a great day. Seminole County and Sanford have been primed for an open container [event] for quite some time.”

To learn more about Sanford’s Small Business Saturday, click here.


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