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Lancaster businesses bounce back from COVID-19 with help from community

Lancaster City Indie Retail Week is helping local businesses rebound by encouraging residents and visitors to shop local.

LANCASTER, Pa. — It might sound crazy to take over a business during a global pandemic, but a young couple in Lancaster saw it as the only chance to save their favorite book store.

Six weeks ago, the previous owners of the antique book store on N. Prince Street decided to shut down due the COVID-19 pandemic. Teddy Boucard and Elizabeth Peters took a chance to save the store.

“Very quickly, very last minute. We were both doing very different full-time jobs, but we decided we would take over the store,” explained Peters. “I kept thinking why not? Why not start something new? Why not do exactly what you want to do?”

The couple renamed the store Read Rose Books and reopened on July 3. Peters admits that it is a tricky time to open, but said she is excited for what lies ahead.

“Oh yeah, I’m still nervous! Something I was very fortunate to have was Lancaster Indie Retail Week,” she added. “It really welcomed us to the community.”

RELATED: Lancaster City Indie Retail week to begin Monday

Lancaster City Indie Retail Week runs from July 17 through July 24 and aims to draw customers to the more than 70 independent retailers that are offering special deals and promotions. The Lancaster City Alliance said many local businesses are facing economic hardships.

The Alliance is hoping the event will encourage people to shop local and take a page out of Peters’ book—by making something old, new again.

RELATED: Lancaster City Council considers outdoor shopping to help struggling retailers

RACHEL YONKUNAS: Are you surprised by how well-received the store’s been by customers?

ELIZABETH PETERS:  Yes, I’m very surprised! Every day. Every time someone comes in and they say ‘Oh, I heard about you!’ I’m like, ‘You heard about me? And my store?! Really?!’ It’s just really nice. There’s been a lot of welcome from everyone in the community. It’s been really great. Lancaster is probably the perfect place to start a new business.”

Read Rose Books also showcases artwork from local artists. You can learn more about the store by visiting their Facebook Page. To find a list of businesses taking part in Lancaster City Indie Retail Week, click here.