The plaza at 400 Warwick Avenue will host a day of family fun this Saturday in an effort to drum up business.
Lynn Nardolillo took over The Donate Shop, which is located in the plaza, two months ago and realized she had quite a struggle in front of her. She inherited a great deal of debt from previous owners and realized she would need help.
Then Nardolillo learned many of the businesses in the plaza were also struggling. The owner of New Wave Kempo told her his membership was down a significant percent, and she learned Ruben’s Pets could use more customers.
So Nardolillo came up with the idea to have plaza stores and other local businesses donate their time, talents or merchandise to a block party style event at the plaza, which will occur on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“We aren’t going to spend money to make money,” said Nardolillo. “I called everyone with a talent to see if they would come out and donate their time.”
And she got results.
Saturday’s event will feature a karate demonstration from New Wave Kempo, a dance show by Danceology, an Irish dance show by Damhsa and food from Austin’s Greek Oven Pizza and Anthony’s, all of which are located in the plaza. Nardolillo also said she found individuals willing to donate water slides, moon bounces, face painting and other fun activities for kids.
She is also in the process of working to have the Providence Police bring their horses, coordinate a visit from McGruff the Crime Dog and a DJ.
There will also be tables with activities from other local, small businesses from Warwick and Providence who found out about the event through Nardolillo’s flyers.
“There are tons of small stores on this street, go visit them too,” said Nardolillo. “I am inviting a lot of small businesses to come to the plaza that day.”
Nardolillo hopes the event will draw a crowd and promote all of the businesses that participate.
She says interest in the event has grown and more businesses are planning on setting up tables, and she isn’t done yet.
“Up to the day before the event, I will be going to small businesses [to get them to participate],” she said.
The event is free to the public but donations are encouraged. There will also be raffles and auctions for baskets and gift cards donated by area businesses. All proceeds from the event will be given to the plaza’s businesses that are struggling the most.
Nardolillo says if the event is well received, the plaza will host a second one toward the end of the summer.