Special holiday shopping parking spaces in downtown Raleigh being tested by some small businesses

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The City of Raleigh is designating parking spaces for holiday shopping outside of some downtown small businesses in an effort to encourage folks to 'shop small' this holiday season.

Flourish Market owner Emily Grey is hoping the change will bring more people downtown, especially for Small Business Saturday.

"It really allows us to compete with the bigger retailers while allowing our customers to enjoy shopping for those unique and meaningful gifts," Grey said.

Unfortunately, bringing in sales this year is proving to be harder than last.

"People really rallied behind businesses in 2020 because it was a new problem that was getting a lot of airtime and people saw businesses closing," Grey recalled. "But those of us who survived 2020, actually we have to compete with Compassion Fatigue as people go back to what they feel is a little normal."

Thirteen businesses have signed up to be part of the special parking space program so far, and people are beginning to take advantage.

"It's been really easy to just pull up, get what I need," Raleigh resident Ashton Smith said about the special parking spaces. "This is a great way to experience a business when maybe parking was overwhelming or you're unfamiliar."

The program runs through New Years Eve.
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