These Business Owners Banded Together to Save Their Downtown. Now, They’re Reaping the Rewards

Merchants in Keene, New Hampshire, spent the past year collaborating instead of competing. Their efforts are paying off.

Luca’s Mediterranean Café just recorded the best March in its 20-year history: $20,000 in weekly sales.

It was a far cry from March 2020, when the Keene, New Hampshire, restaurant’s founder, Luca Paris, had to shut his doors to in-person dining as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Though his café, located less than a mile north of Keene State College, is typically teeming with in-person diners, it switched to takeout-only last March–and remained that way for three months, when it reopened to 60 percent capacity (plus four outdoor tables) in mid-June.

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Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship Key Partners

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