Business owners see drastic drop in foot traffic as shoppers react to Fun Fourth Festival cancellation

Coronavirus

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Going into a holiday weekend, downtown Greensboro business owners hope to see some sign of life from customers.

Especially after the city canceled the Fun Fourth Festival due to COVID-19 concerns. 

The annual event sees an estimated 100,000 visitors come to Elm Street and brings in roughly $1.5 million to the local economy. 

The cancellation has added yet another set back for businesses. 

Back in April, Zack Matheny, the president of Downtown Greensboro Inc., explained this is among the most profitable time for some.

“For a few of our restaurants, that was their biggest weekend: those two days,” Matheny said.

To hear Taylor Inman, owner of Baked GSO, explain it, “we were kind of hoping by Fourth of July, this would be our ticket back in the game for the year.” 

She is among a handful of new businesses in downtown Greensboro. She was told by the previous owner that Fun Fourth Festival is like “Christmas” for business. 

“He told us it was like Christmas. Its a big deal. You need to be open longer and have all of your staff. So we called him about a week ago and were like, ‘What do we do now?’” Inman said.

By Friday afternoon, she had seen fewer than 10 customers. 

She still plans to stay open for the remainder of the weekend in hopes the foot traffic will turn around. 

“Sitting at home and feeling sorry for yourself will only get you so far,” Inman said. “We’re trying.”

For a handful of business owners who spoke with FOX8, June was reportedly their worst month, financially ever. 

Because of this, and the expected loss in foot traffic, there are some business who plan to close up for the weekend. 

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