NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - A new study released this week shows that cities across the U.S. that are requiring you to wear a mask in public have seen an increase in local spending and tourism. Here in Nashville, we’re seeing bigger numbers than the rest of the country.
After several months of an economic shutdown along Nashville’s most famous street, things are picking up again and business owners are noticing activity along Broadway.
“There has been an uptick in business. It started in October and this month has been pretty good,” Brent Mattheessen, owner of Mattheessen’s Nashville located on 2nd Avenue said. “People seem to be feeling safer with the masks.”
Mattheessen’s is a “mom and pop” ice cream and cookie shop that opened in September 2019. Things were off to a great start until this spring. The locally owned business had to close for seven weeks during the shutdown, on top of many other challenges this year.
“When we first opened, we had a tornado. Then we had the pandemic and then a few riots out here,” Mattheessen said. “It’s not easy. It’s not easy being a mom and pop entrepreneurial business these days, that’s for sure.”
But like many others in town, restaurant and store owners are seeing more out-of-town visitors.
A study conducted by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis shows that consumer spending has increased 5% on average in areas that have mask mandates. Davidson County has been one of those since the beginning, and our numbers show an increase of closer to 6%. To read the full study, click here.
However, under Mayor John Cooper’s reopening plan, business do have to close by 11 P.M. Because of that, even though business is better, they’re still losing money. Many said they are hopeful things will get back to normal soon.
“We can make a few less pennies and hopefully get this done and next spring get back on track,” Mattheessen said.
Nashville has entered Phase Three on the Roadmap for Reopening effective Thursday.
Earlier this year, the Nashville Convention and Visitor’s Corporation released numbers showing Music City’s revenue loss for 2020 well into the millions.
COVID is having a big impact on Nashville’s tourism and we now know how that’s affecting revenues and losses at Music City Center.