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

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen; decision could come Monday More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8050
JPY
USD
117.90
GBP
USD
0.6376
CAD
USD
1.1259
INR
USD
61.655

Rates may not be current.