Businesses urging visitors to ‘shop local’ during folk festival
SALISBURY, Md. – In a couple of days, downtown Salisbury will be completely transformed as the city prepares to welcome thousands of visitors to celebrate the 79th Annual National Folk Festival.
“It’s the busiest weekend that we’ve had in over six years of business,” said Roadie Joe’s owner Jeremy Norton.
And these visitors aren’t coming empty handed. Last year the three day event drew more than 60,000 festival goers to downtown Salisbury. Filling the pockets of local businesses along the way.
“Even though last year it rained, we still had the best weekend we ever had in business. It was huge influx of outsiders, people that have never been to downtown or just to Salisbury in general,” said Norton.
But that wasn’t true for everyone some say they didn’t get the foot traffic they had hoped for.
“We were pretty much planning for increasing our business by three times or at least by two so we prepared for that, but that did not come to fruition,” said Cake Art owner Susan Patt.
Local business owners tell 47 ABC that they often have to compete with other food vendors who are brought in for the folk festival. Which can sometimes affect their sales.
“There’s a lot more competition in town for food so not just our usual competition but also there’s food trucks coming in,” said Patt.
They also say their location throughout the festival can also affect their business.
“We have the challenge of our stage being in front of our store which is going to cause challenges with people getting into our facility and knowing that we’re here and that we’re open,” said Patt.
“We’re right in the thick of it. We get a lot of foot traffic and the city has done a fantastic job of getting people to our door,” Norton.
But despite these challenges, business owners say they’re excited for the festival and just want to remind people to shop local this upcoming weekend.
“I think it’s great to have the variety, but people need to remember that these small businesses, we need your support too to make it in the community,” said Patt.