KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas and the organizers of the Chiefs Champions Victory Parade announced a new initiative Monday that will support small businesses on Wednesday — the day of the Super Bowl parade as well as Valentine’s Day.
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The initiative, called “From the Kingdom. For the Heart,” was created to connect Chiefs Kingdom with the holiday all about love.
Visit KC launched a website promoting certain businesses and events they’re hosting all week, making certain to include free marketing materials online. Companies can use the items on social media and websites in addition to designs on cookies, T-shirts, coffee mugs, etc.
“It’s time to showcase our Kansas City heart to the world and how we support our community,” said Kathy Nelson, CEO of Visit KC and the KC Sports Commission.
Mary Holland said she would take advantage of some of those marketing materials. She owns Pierpont’s, a steakhouse in Union Station, and has about 400 dinner reservations set for Wednesday.
“Valentine’s Day is, if not our largest day, our second largest day of the entire year,” Holland said. “This is a destination place for Valentine’s Day and romantics and lovebirds.”
Nelson and parade organizers promise Union Station will be accessible when dinner service at Pierpont’s begins at 4:30 p.m.
Holland’s staff is calling everyone with a reservation to relay the information and answer any questions about parking, valet and access.
If someone cancels a reservation, Holland has a waitlist to consult.
Anton Kotar, owner of Anton’s Taproom and Restaurant at 16th and Main downtown, isn’t as optimistic as Holland.
“I really anticipate we’re going to lose some business because of it," he said. "I think some people won’t even try to fight their way in."
He’s disappointed organizers chose to host the parade on Valentine’s Day, which is typically his busiest day between Christmas and the Big 12 basketball tournament at T-Mobile Center in mid-March.
“I would hope all our businesses would be excited Visit KC is doing this campaign for shop local,” argued Nia Richardson, managing director of KC BizCare, the city’s small business support agency.
Richardson is helping businesses acquire peddler’s licenses so they can sell their products along the parade route on Wednesday. She anticipates attention surrounding Taylor Swift, global superstar and girlfriend of Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, will benefit businesses.
“Swifties buy things, Swifties go places. They love everything,” Richardson said. “Our businesses are ready for that. I want to make sure we can get them out there in front of them and sell.”