SANFORD, Fla. — Christmas has come early for small businesses in Sanford.
The city held a “Christmas in July” event to bring people downtown.
The event is meant to bring people to businesses they’ve never visited.
Shoppers were given this passport to take into stores.
At each store they got a stamp, even if they didn’t buy anything.
When they’re done, they take the passport to the Welcome Center.
That enters them in a drawing to win gift cards to local businesses.
Business owners said the event is extremely important post-pandemic.
They said the last two years have been especially hard on small businesses.
Some visitors were in Christmas hats and sweaters, and all of the stores had Christmas music playing.
The city had this event last year, but business owners said there were COVID-19 restrictions in place.
Some business owners said they have seen around the same number of shoppers they had last year, but added people are spending less money than they have in years past.
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