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Downtown Quincy lays plans to encourage people to stop and enjoy the sights

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Some downtown Quincy businesses hope to attract new customers through a new platform called "parklets.”

The wooden structures were set up during Thursday night's Summer on 6th Street series.

The idea is to give people, and potential customers, a place to sit while looking around at all of the businesses in Downtown Quincy.

Grown N' Gathered owner Michele Wilkerson says parklets have become common in urban cities during the summer months.

She says they would benefit customers and Quincy businesses, especially since the District does not have sidewalk benches.

“The parklets draw your attention to just pause. Stop and enjoy the communities. Sit down. Enjoy a conversation. Maybe a drink. Maybe a purchase. People watch. It just encourages people to spend time in downtown to realize what's here,” said Wilkerson.

Wilkerson and other downtown business owners would like to see Quincy City Council pass an ordinance to keep the parklets up all summer long.

That's just one of the ideas business owners have to help keep so called "brick and mortar" retailers open and thriving in the Gem City.

Retailers are turning to creative ideas and events, such as this Summer on 6th series, to attract new business in downtown Quincy.

Wilkerson owns also owns Yoga7Even and the newly opened TapRoom & Cafe.

"Entrepreneurship is not an easy gig. It takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there but also to put money out there to invest. We need that local money circulating for sales tax revenue and economic development,” Wilkerson said.

Bergner's and Sears plan to close their doors for good in the Quincy Mall this summer. That's made Quincy's small business owners even more passionate about attracting new and existing customers.

"When you do shop local, you give the opportunity to keep your money here in Quincy. You shop for people who live here to put your money back into our community," Wilkerson explained.

Kristen Dreasler works as a buyer and manager of Ally's Boutique. She says a dollar spent locally goes farther than you might think.

"When you shop local, you're helping someone pay for their children's dance class, be able to afford to go to college. You're directly benefiting the workers here,” said Dreasler.

"These dollars spent here will fuel the next sidewalk, the next street lamp, potter. Shop local isn't just supporting your local entrepreneurs, it's really creating and building a community. That's such a ripple effect we can all benefit from," Wilkerson said.

The Summer on 6th series will happen every third Thursday of the month now through September.

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