Downtown businesses worldwide once took for granted that nearby offices would provide a steady clientele looking for breakfast, lunch, everyday goods and services and last-minute gifts.
Now, as the coronavirus continues to keep many offices closed and workers at home, some downtown businesses are adapting, and others are trying to hang on.
Some already are gone. The survivors have taken steps such as boosting online sales or changing hours, staffing levels and what they offer. Others are relying more on residential traffic.
Many business owners had looked forward to a return toward normalcy this month as offices reopened. But now that many companies have postponed plans to bring workers back due to a surging number of COVID-19 cases spurred by the Delta variant, downtown businesses are reckoning with the fact that adjustments made on the fly could well become permanent.