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

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8143
JPY
USD
119.23
GBP
USD
0.6390
CAD
USD
1.1596
INR
USD
63.304

Rates may not be current.