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Congress Avenue businesses participating in Austin's 'Shop the Block' program

The pilot program helps businesses expand their operations onto, for example, sidewalks and streets.

AUSTIN, Texas — Parts of Downtown Austin may look a little bit differently on the weekends.

Business owners along the east side of Congress Avenue near Sixth Street are taking advantage of the City of Austin's Shop the Block program.

The pilot program helps businesses expand their operations onto, for example, sidewalks and streets.

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The goal is to help them thrive during the pandemic by giving customers multiple options to check out their products and services.

The Downtown Austin Alliance (DAA) helped create the design of the block and has supplied tables and chairs, among other items, to help out.

"I think it's a great idea to kind of solve some of the problems of people not feeling comfortable inside. It's still keeping everyone safe, but, at the same time, allowing businesses to maybe make up for revenue that they've lost," Austin resident Rebekah Sanford said.


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The group of businesses participating include Capital One Bank with Peet's Coffee, CapMetro's Project Connect store, Royal Blue Grocery, 7-11, Joe Koen & Son Jewelers, Wild About Music and Caroline Restaurant.

The DAA said entertainment and small performances will happen every week, and customers can expect to shop this set-up through the end of the year.

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