Vivo!, the small boutique located at 6 Fleet Street will be closing its doors this Sunday. While the owner, Lynne Davis, cited the desire to spend more time with her family as one reason for the closure, the decision to close was also somewhat of a forced one.
In a recent newsletter announcing the closure, Davis said,
The longest recession in decades combined with the never-ending Market House mess resulted in a greater struggle than I anticipated. I also learned more than I ever thought possible about doing business in a town stymied by competing views of whether it’s a historically accurate treasure or a modern city that treasures but isn’t handcuffed to its past. The April 13th closure of Cornhill / Fleet Street access to Market Square had a horrific impact on business. I’ve decided that the Fence is the Universe’s way of saying, “Can you hear me now?”
We exchanged emails with Davis earlier today and while she praised the City for their recent response to the street closure and their swift moves to modify the initial blockade, even the partial closure still cut her business in half.
The Annapolis Economic Development Corporation is an organization primarily funded by the City and tax dollars whose stated mission is:
We work in partnership with the business community, city government and residents to retain, expand and attract business to the City of Annapolis. As an independent organization we are a confidential source of information and assistance in locating or growing your business within the city limits.
We were dismayed to learn that the AEDC did not reach out to Vivo! after the street closure or before. According to Davis, “I never heard from AEDC, and my sense has always been that they have bigger fish that they’re looking to fry. My sense is the little mom-and-pop stores that make Annapolis unique are below their threshold.” Davis’ perspective is not unique. We spoke with several Main Street merchants yesterday; and while most had heard of the organization, none had had any contact with it. Davis’ comment about “bigger fish” may hold some water when you consider the prominently placed “advertisement”for the controversial Crystal Springs development is the only one on the organization’s website.
We sent an email to the EDC on Friday morning, but have not received a response yet. When one is received, we will update this post.
In the meantime, Vivo! is liquidating the stock in their store and will close for good on July 8th. All merchandise is being offered at a 40% discount with some at 50%. For future purchases, please visit their site at vivoannapolis.com.