Downtown Lincoln business see impact of stimulus spending

Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 4:59 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Across the country, and in Lincoln, business is improving. Not only do the numbers show this, but local business managers are noticing too.

“It’s the stimulus, the vaccine, this awesome weather,” Ann Ringlein, general manager at The Lincoln Running Company said.

Ringlein said business at the running store has been fairly steady through the pandemic but the last few months have been booming.

“Everybody is happier when the store is busy,” Ringlein said. “When customers come in and see it’s crowded, its like this is the place to be and that’s what it’s been like lately.”

The Lincoln Running Company isn’t alone.

Joey Rupp, general manager at Forever Faithful Boutique and Best of Big Red said they’ve seen the same.

“We’ve had people coming in saying they’re going to spend their stimulus checks on themselves and they’re out shopping, spending money downtown,” Rupp said.

This is the story across the country. Nationally, retail sales jumped nearly 10 percent in March after dropping 3 percent the month before. Nebraska’s tax revenue was also up 12 percent over the estimation, bringing in $556 million last month.

This is a far cry from what some store managers experienced this time last year.

“We had days where nobody was in the store,” Rupp said. “I’d work open to close and not see a single soul.”

But even on a Thursday afternoon, the Haymarket was buzzing with Lincoln people wanting to support local.

“So many people are telling us I’ve got my stimulus check now I want to spend it local, to support local,” Ringlein said. “We appreciate that.”

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