BEAUFORT, S.C. (WTOC) - Finding parking in downtown Beaufort can be tough. The city is trying to make things a little bit easier by giving shoppers and residents an early holiday gift.
"The city of Beaufort has donated parking so that more residents will come out and support our friends and neighbors,” Beaufort Chamber Director Blakely Williams.
From Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, parking will be free in the marina lot in downtown Beaufort.
"Any barriers that we can remove to make people want to spend their money [near home] is going to be a good investment,” Williams said.
The lot, which is usually $1 per hour to park in, is centrally located to all the shops downtown.
"We have great stores, galleries, and restaurants here are we have to do is make it easy for people to come downtown.”
Business owners think free marina parking will help them gain customers before the holiday season.
"I think it really relieves some of that pressure where people think well, I'd like to go down to Bay Street and go shopping. It makes making that decision that much easier,” Joe O’Brien said.
O'Brien’s toy store is typically busiest during the holidays.
"December is our busiest month. We do well in the summer with visitors also, but end of November and December are our busiest time,” O’Brien said.
The city has done free parking before. O'Brien says it's all locals need.
"The stores and merchandisers down here are strong enough that that's all they need, a little help."
The free parking helps bring people out and boosts the already busy shopping season.
Since the days start on Thanksgiving and go through the month of December, the parking will be free for all of the events happening in downtown Beaufort for the holidays.