PROVIDENCE – Providence Mayor Angel Taveras joined Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce President Laurie White and U.S. Small Business Administration Rhode Island District Director Mark S. Hayward in launching the city’s 2013 “Buy Providence-Buy Art” holiday shopping campaign at a Wednesday morning event in Wayland Square.
The campaign urging Providence residents and visitors to support the city’s local economy during the holiday season kicked off days before Small Business Saturday, a national small-business campaign conceived by American Express in 2010 and held every year since on the day after Black Friday.
“Providence is an artistic and creative city that is the perfect place to do all of your holiday shopping,” said Taveras at the Wednesday event, attended by business owners, artists and members of the community. “The entire community benefits when we buy locally and support our local economy during the holiday season and throughout the year.”
Providence has sponsored a “buy local” holiday campaign every year since 2005, led by the city’s Department of Economic Development and Department of Art, Culture and Tourism.
As part of the 2013 campaign, the city will distribute free “Buy Providence-Buy Art” window decals to local businesses, and this year has added its customary holiday parking program offering shoppers two hours of free parking in the city’s commercial and retail districts.
“It is important to support our local retailers and small businesses during the busy holiday sales season,” said Taveras. “By offering free parking throughout the season, shoppers can visit and support our shops and restaurants and our entire local economy.”
Beginning Nov. 29 through Jan. 1, shoppers can park for two hours free of charge from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. in the following commercial districts:
- Atwells Avenue – Bradford Street to Knight Street.
- Broad Street – Public Street to Montgomery Street.
- Downtown Providence – bounded by Fountain Street, Memorial Boulevard, Weybosset Street, Empire Street and Pine Street (from Dorrance Street to Dyer Street).
- Hope Street – Rochambeau Avenue to Blackstone Boulevard.
- North Main Street – Thomas Street to Park Row.
- Olneyville Square – Route 10 to Sydney Street and Delaine Street to Atwood Street to Magnolia Street.
- South Main Street – James Street to Packet Street.
- Thayer Street – Meeting Street to Bowen Street.
- Wayland Square – East Angell Street/Angell Street to Gano Street and Wayland Avenue from Angell Street to Pitman Street.
- Wickenden/Ives – Wickenden Street at Benefit Street to Ives Street at Preston Street.
The two-hour parking limit will be strictly enforced, a news release from Taveras’ office said, and cars parked illegally in prohibited areas, including in crosswalks and tow zones, will be ticketed during the parking program period.
“Small business is the engine that drives our economy. They are also the job creators,” said Hayward at the event in Wayland Square. “We must do all that we can to support the city’s small business community and provide them with the tools they need to grow and succeed.”
The Wayland Square Merchants Association hosted the kickoff event Wednesday morning at The Olive Tap, a small business on Angell Street that sells olive oils, aged balsamic vinegars and gourmet foods.
Brown University President Christina H. Paxson, who also attended the event, committed to support the Buy Providence-Buy Art campaign by promoting local shopping in the city’s retail districts to the school’s students, faculty and staff.
“Providence offers a wealth of boutiques, retail stores, galleries and restaurants,” said Paxson. “We’re pleased to once again support Mayor Taveras’ Buy Providence and Buy Art initiatives by encouraging members of the Brown community to support our economy by shopping locally during the holiday season.”
For more information about the campaign, visit www.providenceri.com/bpba, where local businesses can sign up to share information about holiday specials and promotions.