TAMPA, Fla. — The COVID-19 pandemic hit small businesses hard, but having the Bucs in Super Bowl LV right in our backyard could help.
Initially, with the shutdown and then people not spending as much money and wanting to keep their distance from others.
But, with the Super Bowl on the horizon in Tampa there was some hope for restaurants and retail shops that depend on locals and tourists.
Now, with the Bucs playing for the championship at home, it's turned into a small miracle for one downtown shop.
There's a small boutique/champagne bar in the Channel District called Don Me Now. Not only does it offer unique clothes and jewelry, but cool gifts and all things Tampa.
After getting through a tough 2020, the store pinned its hopes on Gasparilla to pull through, but then that was postponed.
"We've kind of become one of the boutiques that's known to offer really fun and things that can really get the community going in terms of Gasparilla and all things pirate," said owner Danielle Evans.
She said they decided they should scale back a bit, expecting a slow few months with a small boost from Super Bowl.
That started to change when the Bucs kept winning and they began planning for some big business.
"Everything was kind of waiting with the designer and as soon as we won, we pulled the trigger and those emails started flying and we got to work very very quickly."
They stocked up and started pre-sales. Hundreds of Bucs and pirate-themed shirts sold quickly and they still have more in the store for those last-minute shoppers.
"We can't predict what's going to happen the next couple months going into what we hope is Gasparilla, but this was such a blessing and we're so grateful for all of the support from the community to help us through this time."
There's a domino effect here. Don Me Now uses a printer in St. Pete to make the shirts they are selling. So, that's another business that benefited. Some other local vendors reached out with items like candles and bags.
For small businesses like this one, the Bucs in the Super Bowl is definitely a boost!
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