SCRANTON -- A group of business owners in downtown Scranton is banding together to solve what they say is one of their customers' biggest complaints: parking.
They hope their plan will give people an incentive to shop.
Justin Amendolaro, who owns a gift shop of the same name on Spruce Street, loves being in downtown Scranton. But, he's had to come up with ways to make his business work.
He offers curbside service so customers can pick something out online and Justin runs it out to their car. All because his customers' most consistent complaint is the price and availability of parking in the downtown.
Theresa Stuckart, who owns New Laundry on North Washington Avenue, said the same thing.
"That`s the one obstacle I hear consistently, is parking is difficult in downtown Scranton. And sometimes it is. But, we have some great parking garages available for people to park in. I think, with the two-hour voucher, it`s kind of a no brainer," Stuckart said.
New Laundry and Amendolaro are two of several businesses now working together to provide free garage parking to customers.
"We got together, and we`re trying make this happen come September, where customers can park in the garage and get two hours for free while shopping at the downtown stores," Justin Amendolaro said.
Two hours in a garage costs you six dollars now. Business owners will be paying a discounted rate for their customers.
"If some customer was to come in my store and they only had 10 or 15 minutes on the meter, they might just get in their car and leave. But, if they had a free two hours in a garage, they might hit a store across the street, a store up the road, grab lunch somewhere. It benefits all the businesses because people will stay in downtown longer," Amendolaro added.
A license to stay downtown without worry of getting a ticket.
Amendolaro said he and other business owners are still working out the details with the company that runs the parking garages. He expects they will have a voucher validation system in place sometime next month.