“M’Aiken Space” campaign aims to free up parking spots for holiday shoppers in Downtown Aiken

AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – “M’Aiken Space” for holiday shoppers is a new initiative started by several small business owners.

The campaign was started to alleviate the hassle for customers shopping for the holidays.

More parking and less circling is the motto of “M’Aiken Space.”

Cindy Rudisill, the owner of Cyndi’s Sweet Shoppe, is one of the business owners behind the initiative. The idea is simple, have Downtown Aiken shop owners encourage their employees to park away from the main road, during peak hours, to free up spots for customers.

“There are places farther down on Laurens Street, there are a lot of side streets,” Rudisill told WJBF NewsChannel 6. “We have even the bank parking lot across the street from where we are.”

The owner of Downtown Dog says sometimes her clients will call in their purchases and she will run it out to their cars. While it’s not ideal, it’s better than losing a sale.

The “M’Aiken Space” initiative is not mandatory, still many employers are getting behind the movement.

“Business is booming in downtown Aiken and we’ve got to make room for our customers,” said Sherri Scarborough, the owner of Downtown Dog.

“We’ve got an opportunity here to get more business,” True Value owner Det Hayslip told WJBF NewsChannel 6.

There are nearly 600 parking spots downtown and a proposed parking deck would add about 350 more, but in the meantime “M’Aiken Space” could be the answer for more turnovers and more revenue for the city.

“Each parking space is good for $18,000 a year, in gross dollars.” Hayslip said. “That’s based on the number of parking spaces divided by the business taxes.”

Each employer that takes the pledge gets a window decal so customers know which ones are on board with the “M’Aiken Space” campaign.

The initiative is a year-long campaign.

Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this developing story.              

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