Business leaders gather in Wayland Square to promote buying locally during holiday season.
Mayor Angel Taveras joined Greater Chamber of Commerce President Laurie White, U.S. Small Business Administration Rhode Island District Director Mark Hayward, business owners, artists and community members in Wayland Square this morning to kick off the 2013 Buy Providence-Buy Art holiday shopping campaign.
Mayor Taveras urged Providence residents and visitors to support the city's local economy during the upcoming holiday season and declared November 27, 2013 "Buy Providence-Buy Art Day" in the City of Providence. He also announced the rollout of a holiday parking program that offers shoppers two hours of free parking in the city's commercial and retail districts.
"Providence is an artistic and creative city that is the perfect place to do all of your holiday shopping," said Mayor Taveras. "The entire community benefits when we buy locally and support our local economy during the holiday season and throughout the year."
The Wayland Square Merchants Association (WSMA) hosted the kickoff event this morning at The Olive Tap, a small business on Angell Street. Local merchants from across the Capital City attended the event.
"It is important to support small businesses in Providence," said Wayland Square Merchants Association President and CLAD In Manager Asa Orsino. "Any time we get support from our city and our neighbors, it has a positive impact on our business and in our community."
Representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration Rhode Island District Office, the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce and Brown University also participated in the kickoff.
"Small business is the engine that drives our economy. They are also the job creators," said Mark S. Hayward, director of the SBA Rhode Island District Office. "We must do all that we can to support the city's small business community and provide them with the tools they need to grow and succeed."
"Our capital city is made up of a diverse and outstanding selection of local retail businesses," said Laurie White, president of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce. "The Mayor's Buy Providence-Buy Art initiative is an excellent reminder this holiday season of what our city has to offer, and it is a great way to connect local residents and business owners and strengthen our local economy."
Brown University committed to support the Buy Providence-Buy Art campaign by promoting local shopping in the city's retail districts to its students, faculty and staff.
"Providence offers a wealth of boutiques, retail stores, galleries and restaurants," said Brown University President Christina Paxson. "We're pleased to once again support Mayor Taveras' Buy Providence and Buy Art initiatives by encouraging members of the Brown community to support our economy by shopping locally during the holiday season."
The kickoff was timed to raise awareness about Small Business Saturday, a national campaign to promote small business during the holiday shopping season.
Providence has sponsored a 'buy local' holiday campaign every year since 2005. The Buy Providence-Buy Art campaign is led by the city's Department of Economic Development and Department of Art, Culture + Tourism. As part of the campaign, the city will distribute free "Buy Providence-Buy Art" window signs to local businesses and have Buy Art pins for galleries and shops.
The City has also created a Buy Providence-Buy Art website at www.providenceri.com/bpba. Local businesses can sign up and share information about holiday specials and promotions. The Buy Providence-Buy Art campaign will run through the New Year holiday.
City of Providence offers free holiday parking
To accommodate holiday shoppers and support local businesses during the busy holiday sales season, Mayor Taveras announced today that there will be two hours of free parking in designated commercial districts throughout Providence. Shoppers will be offered two hours of free parking from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. beginning Friday, November 29, 2013 through Wednesday, January 1, 2014 in the following commercial districts:
The holiday parking program is designed to make it easier for shoppers to patronize local businesses. The two-hour parking limit will be strictly enforced by parking enforcement officers. Cars parked illegally in prohibited areas, including crosswalks and tow zones, will be ticketed during this period.