Downtown Springfield recovering post-pandemic


Carmen Dillman

Springfield Vintage has seen business increase signficantly since the pandemic ended. The pandemic took a toll on downtown, but most owners see business recovering post-pandemic.

Carmen Dillman, Staff writer

Even before the pandemic, Downtown Springfield was known for being one thing: Dead.

The pandemic accelerated the decline. Del’s Popcorn Shop, which had been located downtown for nearly 40 years, never reopened after the shutdown in March 2020, along with Robbie’s Restaurant and others.

With businesses fleeing the downtown deadzone, the few remaining continue to do what they can to keep it alive. Most of the business owners, however, believe downtown is bouncing back and will come back stronger post-pandemic.

Springfield Vintage owner Linda Renehan says she keeps the customers coming by building personal connections and entering into various vintage shows. And for her, both methods seem to be working. Since Renehan reopened post-shutdown, she’s doing very well and is “up” a lot.

Corrine Campbell, owner of Corrine’s Closet, feels the pandemic stalled the growth of her business.

“It took us back,” she said. “I had just opened a year ago, and ya know, it takes time for your business to grow.”

Campbell also didn’t receive any financial aid from the city, adding to her struggle. She now feels with the city reopening, she is and will continue to “bounce back.”

Owner of Murphy’s Loft, Sheri Koch, shared some fun insight on how the city and these owners are attempting to bounce back and revive downtown.

“We’re looking forward to things going forward,” Koch said. “There’s talk of stringing lights up … just to make it more charming down here and to get people to come.”

Koch wants to remind people about the farmers market, museums and levitamp, as well as other fun activities that keep downtown going.

A common feeling shared among these owners is that downtown isn’t necessarily dying, but with much persistence and determination, it’s growing.

“I don’t think it’s [downtown] dying,” Campbell said. “It’s gonna grow. From here it’s nothing but growth.”