News / Economy

Visitors Help Boston Economy Bounce Back

Shoppers browse in the Marathon Sports store after they opened on Boylston Street in Boston's Copley Square, April 25, 2013. The shop was the site of the first bombing at the finish-line area.
Shoppers browse in the Marathon Sports store after they opened on Boylston Street in Boston's Copley Square, April 25, 2013. The shop was the site of the first bombing at the finish-line area.
Reuters
One tourist wanted to eat at a restaurant as close to the Boston Marathon finish line as possible. Other well-wishers made a point of buying shoes at the running store just a few steps away from a bomb blast site.

With their dining and shopping dollars, throngs of visitors to Boston's Boylston Street are helping small businesses recover quickly from millions of dollars in losses after the Boston Marathon bombing attacks on April 15.

"The support has been incredible," said Colin Peddie, owner of Marathon Sports, of the customers who have flooded his running goods store close to the racecourse finish - and the site of the first of two blasts that killed three people and injured 264.

Unlike the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the last comparable event on U.S. soil, the low-tech bombing of the Boston Marathon left relatively little property damage.

Still, a number of businesses in the area were forced to temporarily close to repair minor damage or wait for police to complete their investigation of crime scene.

Meg Mainzer-Cohen, president of the 500-member local Back Bay Association trade group, said about half of them lost at least some money due to the bombings and their aftermath. She estimated losses total tens of millions of dollars.

Employee Alec Mikels cleans tables at Whiskey's Smokehouse restuarant on Boylston Street ahead of the re-opening of the street to the general public in Boston, April 23, 2013.Employee Alec Mikels cleans tables at Whiskey's Smokehouse restuarant on Boylston Street ahead of the re-opening of the street to the general public in Boston, April 23, 2013.
x
Employee Alec Mikels cleans tables at Whiskey's Smokehouse restuarant on Boylston Street ahead of the re-opening of the street to the general public in Boston, April 23, 2013.
Employee Alec Mikels cleans tables at Whiskey's Smokehouse restuarant on Boylston Street ahead of the re-opening of the street to the general public in Boston, April 23, 2013.
Many retailers and restaurants now hope to make up their losses through increased foot traffic from visitors, runners and locals coming to the site of the attacks, she said.

At Marathon Sports, where the blasts blew apart the shopfront, Peddie credited his local insurer with helping him reopen quickly and said the store is on track to recoup the losses as visitors return to the area.

"It's for all the wrong reasons, but for now when someone comes to Boston they're going to take that walk down Boylston Street," Peddie said.

Mark Shapiro, a doctor who had just arrived from San Diego on Friday and was taking pictures outside a packed Marathon Sports, said he and his wife made it one of their first stops.

"We both agreed we wanted to pay our respects, but it was nothing like I expected. I had no idea it would be so crowded," Shapiro said.

Representatives for several investment fund companies and other professional businesses in the area said most employees were able to work remotely during the days much of the area was closed off as a crime scene - including during a citywide shutdown on April 19 as police searched for one of the bombing suspects.

These included International Data Group, the technology research firm whose headquarters are in an office building just next to the site of the first blast.

Seeking Restaurant Near Finish Line

Some retailers and businesses were less fortunate.

At The Tannery, a fashionable footwear and clothing store at the corner of Boylston and Exeter streets, general manager Gerardo Defabritiis estimated lost sales of more than $100,000 for his store, which has 15 employees.

"We're talking about six figures," he said. Still, only one window was slightly damaged in the attacks and nobody was injured, he said. "We're o.k., thank God," he said.

Those likely to wind up hit hardest are doctors, hair salons and other service providers who charge by the visit and cannot easily make up sales such as by staying open later, said Mainzer-Cohen of the Back Bay Association.

"There are only so many hours in the day," she said.

The U.S. Small Business Administration said on Monday it would make available low-interest disaster loans of up to $2 million to help those impacted by the attack. Not all business-interruption insurance covers losses tied to terror attacks.

Mike Ross, a Boston city councilman whose district includes the area, said he has gotten a flood of contacts from out-of-town visitors looking to stop in after the attacks. One man from New York, Ross said, e-mailed for help finding a restaurant as close to the Boston Marathon's finish line as possible.

"We're really pumped," Ross said of visitors' new enthusiasm for the area.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8916
JPY
USD
121.32
GBP
USD
0.6487
CAD
USD
1.3252
INR
USD
66.401

Rates may not be current.