Bay Street businesses Customer Appreciation Week already a success

Over 20 Bay Street businesses have come together to host a Customer Appreciation Week this week. Participating merchants have rented the 56 spaces on Bay Street between Carteret and Charles Streets to provide free parking to customers for the week.  Each business will hold a drawing for either merchandise or a gift certificate, and winners will be announced at Waterfront Park on Sunday, September 30, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. A number of merchants have also provided additional promotions, including discounts and refreshments.

According to organizer Darlene Kelly of Sinply Southern Too, “It’s been a good success so far, and next year we are looking forward to expanding it to our shops on Scott, Port Republic, West, and Carteret Streets too.  Let’s get all of downtown involved,” she said.  Participating businesses are seeing an uptick in overall sales and an increase in general traffic. 

It’s make sense to also think that other businesses downtown are benefitting from there being free parking on Bay Street.

By and large, Beaufortonians have embraced the Shop Local movement, choosing to spend their dollars with area independently owned businesses. This serves to give back to Beaufort’s local economy. In fact, pro-local organization, The 3/50 Project, explains that, “for every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the local economy.” National chains only bring in $43, while shopping online brings in no money.

Bay Street merchants recognize the loyalty shown by their local customers, and are eager to participate in this special week. “This week of free parking is to show our loyal customers how much we appreciate their 31 years of support,” explains Nancy Rhett, owner of Rhett Gallery.

Currently, participating merchants include: Beaufort Clothing Company, Cora Bett Thomas Realty, Deals, Doodlebugs, Finishing Touches, Goldon House Gallery, I. Pinckney Simons Gallery, Joli Home Accents, Kooky Mooky’s, the Lollipop Shop, Lulu Burgess, Luther’s Rare & Well Done, Main Street Beaufort, Fordham Market, Indigo Gallery, McIntosh Book Shoppe, Plums, Q on Bay, Reflections, Rhett Gallery, Salon Aria off Bay, Sea Island Carriage Company, Simply Southern Décor and More, Simply Southern Too – Antiques, Sweet Bay, and Sweetgrass Apparel. A list of businesses will be updated on Main Street Beaufort’s Facebook page: SC.