PUNTA GORDA, Fla. - Merchants are voicing concerns about street closures during parades.
"To close our street it just kills us," says Debi Malinoski.
Debie open Hip Notique on West Marion Avenue three years ago. She says merchants here count on every customer this time of year.
"We bank our profits in season to get us through down season," she adds.
It's why she's not happy to hear the Charlotte Harbor Super Bat Grand Prix Parade will close oart of her street to traffic for at least four hours on April 11th.
"On a good day, if people can't park out here on the street, they come in the next day or the day after and they'll say, 'I came three times this week and I couldn't park my car.' Even though there's a parking deck behind us there's an empty lot over there if they can't park nine out of 10 times they're going to go," she adds.
"What we're hoping is that the traffic that they would be losing, the vehicle traffic, will be replaced tenfold by pedestrian traffic," says Diane Harper.
Harper is the parade committee chairperson. She says the event is expected to bring thousands of people to downtown and the weekend is projected to generate at least eight to ten million dollars for the county.
"I just hope everyone can look at the bright side of this and see it for the economic opportunity that it is," she adds.
The parade will run from about 4:30 to 8 on April 11th. Organizers say as the event gets closer they want to talk with merchants and hopefully relieve some of their concerns.