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How to Support West Chester’s Small Businesses

September 17, 2020

This fall is sure to look a bit different around your Chestnut Square apartment, with the addition of lots of masks and social distancing signs, and the absence of our favorite fall festivals and events. However, if you’re missing that community feel that West Chester is known for, you’re in luck, as our downtown area has recently been transformed into an open-air marketplace—where you can shop, dine and socialize, all safely!

A four-block section of Gay Street, starting at Matlack Street, less than a block from your Chestnut Square apartment, and extending through Darling Street, is now closed to vehicular traffic 24 hours a day. The shutdown is a temporary way to allow local residents to enjoy and support all of the area’s small businesses, which have been hit hard by the pandemic.

The “pedestrian mall,” as it’s being billed, allows the many restaurants along Gay Street to more readily offer outside dining, while many are also inviting customers safely inside if they’d like. Make a reservation at one of the restaurants for a night out on the town or grab some to-go while you’re out and about and find one of the many open tables that have been installed for passersby. Merchants have set up pop-up shops throughout the space so shoppers can peruse their offerings without worries of close quarters; with the holidays fast approaching and most of our favorite fall festivals preempted this year, this is a perfect opportunity to get a jump on your holiday shopping—all while giving back to independently owned local businesses. While the marketplace highlights the many shops and restaurants along Gay Street, other downtown businesses are tabling at the event and featuring signage and sales info throughout the marketplace, so be sure to keep an eye out and then head over to throw them some extra support as well!

As West Chester slowly gets back to normal, the new marketplace is a perfect opportunity to reconnect with the community and do your part to help the town rebuild.