Frisco to open pedestrian promenade on Main Street, launch shop local campaign
FRISCO — Frisco is about to open up, with a few twists.
The Frisco Town Council passed a pair of resolutions authorizing new economic relief efforts in town, including a temporary “pedestrian promenade” on Main Street, during a busy virtual meeting Tuesday night.
The move will allow local businesses to expand their operations into public areas and provide more space for customers to physically distance. Officials are hopeful the idea will help kick-start financial recovery for local businesses that have been hit hard by COVID-19 closures.
“The basic premise is we’re trying to provide a public space to allow patrons, visitors and residents to spread out and utilize our shops, restaurants and other services on Main Street, without having businesses constrained to occupancy limits inside,” said Jessica Burley, a council member who helped develop the idea. “How can they turn their business inside out?”
Known as the Frisco Main Street Promenade, the project will limit Main Street to pedestrians and bicycles from Second to Sixth streets and allow local merchants to temporarily expand their operations into public patios, streets and parking lots. The town is also helping restaurants get state approval to sell alcohol in the new spaces.
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The Main Street reopening will begin in mid-June and will continue indefinitely as officials monitor progress.
In addition to the promenade concept, Frisco is launching a shop local campaign called “Love Frisco, Shop Frisco,” meant to promote consumer spending in town stores.
The town will help support the effort via a $100,000 injection into a community gift card program, which would essentially incentivize shopping local by providing subsidies to town shops. Residents will be able to purchase virtual gift cards worth $50 or $100 that are usable at Frisco businesses, and the town will cover 25% of the cost.
The net cost to the town after sales tax collection is expected to be about $70,000, but officials anticipate that providing the incentive will help spur consumer spending among residents and visitors who otherwise might be wary of discretionary purchases. The town believes the investment could result in an additional $325,000 in consumer spending — a major boon to businesses.
“The idea of this came as a way to stimulate the economy,” Town Manager Nancy Kerry said. “Similar to stimulus checks or other kinds of government investments in the local community, it’s to stimulate spending.”
In order to support the efforts, Frisco also will be temporarily providing local retailers and restaurants with free hand sanitizer and face coverings, hoping to remove barriers regarding protective equipment so businesses can focus on opening their stores to the public.
In all, staff said implementing all of the measures collectively would provide cohesive messaging regarding the town’s efforts to support its businesses in a safe, holistic way.
“It’s a strategy to fit all of these things together and an effort to continue the support this council has given the local business community,” Kerry said. “Like the business assistance program and the grants that have been given out, this is another phase, another strategy to help them be successful.”
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