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Social Distance Saturdays kicks off this weekend, aims to help downtown boutiques, galleries

Outside of Ladyfingers Letterpress in downtown Colorado Springs. The business is just one of several participating in Social Distance Saturdays.
Posted at 5:23 PM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-28 20:32:10-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — This weekend the Downtown Partnership in Colorado Springs is kicking off Social Distance Saturdays.

It's a chance for customers to have a private shopping experience and for businesses - a good way to cash in during this economic blight.

Downtown Partnership says a lot of us have missed heading downtown on Saturdays to go shopping, but at the same time we want to feel safe and so do businesses.We're told Social Distance Saturdays was designed to fill that gap.

Claire Swinford, Urban Engagement Director for Downtown Partnership, said, "We've got lots of locally-owned businesses downtown that are not quite ready to open their doors, they're family-owned, but they want to see their customers again."

It's an event that will be happening every Saturday in May. The idea - getting a group of 10 people or less through the doors of a business.

Swinford said, "When you sign up through the Social Distance Saturday platform you are assured that you and any immediate members of your household you want to bring are the only ones in the store at the time...you can essentially reserve each stop that you want to make."

As of Tuesday, five businesses (a mix of downtown art galleries and boutiques) are participating. With the purchase of a $45 ticket per party you get a 20-minute private shopping experience at each place as well as a locally-made face mask and hand sanitizer. All the ticket proceeds will go directly to the businesses.

Swinford said, "You'll just show up at your first stop on Saturday and that store owner will open the door for you...you've got about 20 minutes to get in, find what you want, get out, and then the store owner has another 10 minutes before the next customer shows up so that they can go and wipe everything down."

Abigail Kreuser's art gallery is one of the participants. She's the owner and curator of Kreuser Gallery. She said, "Just seeing people come in my doors - I'm super excited...everybody working together is how we're all going to get through this."

The boutique, Eclectic Co., is also on the list. Like so many small businesses it's taken a hit. Founder Peri Bolts said, "We've been able to do about a quarter of our normal business."

While the shop isn't quite ready to open up for regular business yet Bolts said, "We feel like doing the appointment shopping is a great middle ground...it's just a fun way to show your support for downtown and have a really safe and fun shopping experience so I hope that it takes off."

CLICK HERE for more information on Social Distance Saturdays.