Downtown Ardmore’s municipal business district authority is taking an aggressive approach to maintaining and bolstering the Main Line commercial corridor – even as businesses continue to wait out the construction of a $58 million mixed-use project.
“A lot of the brick-and-mortar stores are losing ground to Amazon and online shopping,” Ardmore Initiative Executive Director Nancy Scarlato told the Business Journal. A board member with the authority for more than a decade, Scarlato became the organization’s leader this past summer. “So if you were going to be a retail store in a downtown, what can you do to bring people into your business?”
Ardmore Initiative is offering grants of up to $1,000 to affected businesses while aiming to invigorate foot traffic with more events and experiential retail, wrties Alison Burdo in the Philadelphia Business Journal.
Several construction projects — including One Ardmore Place from Dranoff Properties and a $65 million project to reconfigure nearby Suburban Square — are compounding parking and traffic woes, while creating other issues for retailers. Scarlato said she is “eagerly awaiting” the completion of One Ardmore, set for spring, though she recognizes construction’s influence on shops along Cricket and Lancaster avenues.
“That has been a challenge,” she said, before offering: “We are able to offer grants to businesses who can come up with clever ideas to draw people into their store.”
Annual events — like Restaurant Week — are a big boon, data provided by Ardmore Initiative shows. Eateries that participated saw an average increase of 17 percent for dinner service sales when compared to other evenings with one reporting a 38 percent jump.
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