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Downtown Buffalo businesses encourage Western New Yorkers to shop locally

Posted at 6:30 PM, Oct 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-30 18:30:37-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — “Any retailer is excited about the holiday season," owner of MMW Style Studio in Lafayette Square Nia Badger said. "I mean that’s the season that we live for as retailers, you know. That's the most wonderful time of the year, as the song says."

But this holiday season may be challenging for businesses in Downtown Buffalo.

“It’s interesting to see how things have changed,” co-owner of Abino Mills Glasswork on Delaware Avenue said.

She said since the start of the pandemic, foot traffic in downtown Buffalo has decreased drastically.

“There aren’t many people downtown. We aren’t getting people staying in the local hotels because people aren’t staying in the local hotels,” she said.

Add to that the thousands of downtown workers who are now working from home. And without the foot traffic, some small businesses have been forced to close their doors.

“I’ve been in this location for five years," Badger said. "But I know two other people that have had to go, and it was kind of like a little sad.”

But downtown businesses are getting creative in hopes of bringing life back to the heart of the city

“We’re kind of doing fun things like contests. Like if you win a contest, you get to spend Buffalo bucks in different locations, in different stores,” Badger said.

Buffalo Place, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the economic life of downtown, is giving away $50 gift certificates to use at downtown shops in hopes of encouraging consumers to shop locally.

“We really need people to come back to local shopping, and I understand that we have to take precautions, but we definitely need the traffic back," Badger said. "We need the dollars so we can sustain.”

To find out more about the gift certificate giveaway, follow Buffalo Place on social media.