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 Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7893
JPY
USD
107.68
GBP
USD
0.6238
CAD
USD
1.1214
INR
USD
61.185

Rates may not be current.