When it comes to doing business in downtown Rockford, many shop and restaurant owners say this summer was one of the best the area’s seen in years.
“Every summer has been better than the one before,” Matt Idzikowski said. Idzikowski owns three downtown restaurants: Blue Line, Omakase and Vintage@501.
“Honestly the last two months have been the best two months that the store has had,” The Collector’s Bench owner Brad Parvin said.
Downtown businesses owners say that’s because they’re not just getting more customers through the door, they’re getting *new customers.
“A lot more people coming in from out of town, visiting and just coming in to check the shop out,” Ground Floor Skateboards owner Eric Neubauer said.
So what’s getting more customers to shop downtown? Many believe its all the new events.
“We do see a lot of traffic whenever things go on downtown, whether its the market or other stuff going on downtown,” Parvin said.
“More things to do, that brings in a new audience,” Idzikowski added. “Those people may not have been downtown, so they come downtown for the first time, they like it then they try new shops, new places and that’s a great thing.”
This year, the downtown welcomed its first food truck festival. Plus, Shop the blocks changed to Saturdays, a move the River District Association hoped would encourage more people to head downtown on the weekends.
“We’ve switched that and it’s been very successful, everybody has been pleased with it,”
Now the big goal for businesses is to keep up the momentum to get more customers shopping in the downtown all year round.
Hopefully, they come back throughout the winter and that just carries us through.