The pandemic may have clouded holiday retail sales across the state, but in Spartanburg, a rise in capital sales tax revenue and visitors to the Morgan Square shopping hub suggests a silver lining.
The county’s sales tax revenues dipped below $3 million in April but now exceed $4 million, which is higher than October 2019, according to a news release. With Morgan Street closed to vehicles to improve pedestrian-friendly shopping, October visitors also exceeded last year’s numbers at more than 5,000. In March, visitors to Morgan Square restaurants and retailers dropped more than 2,000 from the year before.
Hoping to leverage the momentum, the city of Spartanburg will keep Morgan Square sealed off from vehicle traffic over the winter and will partner with OneSpartanburg Inc. to operate a valet/concierge service for downtown patrons, representatives of the city’s Bringing Back the Burg Business Task Force announced last week at a press conference in the square.
The task force also celebrated the launch of a “Spend Local” campaign featuring an online shopping marketplace for county merchants and guide for purchasing Spartanburg-crafted corporate gifts. Many of the businesses featured in the guide committed to screen team members, wear masks and clean between guests, among other safety measures, through a partnership with the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, according to the release.