SANFORD, Fla. – Downtown Sanford business owners are hoping to see a lot of customers come in this weekend.

What You Need To Know

  • Sanford to allow downtown shopper to walk around alcoholic beverages

  • The city is trying out open container for Small Business Saturday

  • Business owners are hoping to see more customers this weekend

To help bring in more people, and to make the day more enjoyable, the city is allowing downtown shoppers to walk around with their alcoholic beverages.    

The past several months have been tough for the small businesses in downtown Sanford, but they’re hoping to go out with a bang, starting with small business Saturday.    

Maguire Wise opened Magpie’s General Store on First Street four years ago. 

“It’s our busiest day of the year, usually. I anticipate it will be the same,” Wise said.

Now, downtown Sanford business owners are coming together to ensure a safe and successful end to a tough year.   Part of it starts Saturday, allowing customers to walk around outside with alcoholic beverages during Small Business Saturday.  

Christina Hollerbach owns Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe and the outfitters store behind it.     

“We’re hoping to bring an influx of people, but in a safe way,” Hollerbach said. 

She and others played an important part in getting the green light for the temporary open container ordinance.  She says they’ve been wanting to try it for a long time.   

“It allows people to social distance and explore our town and our open spaces safely,” Hollerbach said. 

For Halloween, Orlando allowed open containers in part of the downtown area — hoping it would be safer than packing into bars. 

But partiers packed into the outdoor areas and many not wearing masks.

“I think we’ve combated some of those challenges by having a larger footprint, and our bars aren’t so close to one another. So, it is something where they can really spread out,” Hollerbach said. 

Sanford’s Community Redevelopment Agency provided a grant to pay for the police who enforce the ordinance.   

The open container area is spread across several blocks and encompasses many of the restaurants and retail stores.  

“It’s to accentuate your day. Sip and stroll. It seemed really fitting to make with small business Saturday,” Hollerbach said. 

This is just a temporary ordinance lasting Saturday only.

If it goes well for the city, business owners and customers, they’ll consider doing it again.