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Downtown Businesses Say Cherry Blossom Street Closings Hurt Bottom Line

4:55 PM, Mar 24, 2013   |    comments
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The Cherry Blossom Festival may have many in Macon seeing pink, but some local businesses say, they're losing green.

Simon Becker, who owns Union Furniture Company on 3rd Street in downtown Macon says street closings near Cherry Street have caused him to lose some business.

"Percentage-wise, we see a drop of about 50 percent during Cherry Blossom," he says.

Becker says not only can customers not pull in front of his store, neither can delivery trucks, which makes it difficult to get furniture in and out.

Other places like Market City Cafe experienced similar issues. But some places, like the Pink Chief Boutique say while their storefront parking is blocked, they still have people walking and wandering in to shop.

"I had one couple from Canada who walked in and shopped like they didn't have stores in Canada," says owner Sandra Bryant.  She says many have actually come in thinking her store's "pink" name was affiliated with the festival.

But for businesses experiencing issues, Macon City Council member Rick Hutto says he plans on changing the rules for next year to provide a more standardized procedure for street closing, and provide more advance notice.

He says that way, small businesses can share in the added attention the festival bring to town.

You can follow 13WMAZ's Tom George on Twitter @thetomgeorge or like him on Facebook at facebook.com/tomgeorgewmaz

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