Phoenix Suns help revive small, local businesses during NBA Finals

Businesses in downtown Phoenix and just outside of it are seeing a major boom in business after the COVID-19 pandemic as more people are out and about celebrating the Suns making the NBA Finals.

They'll be taking on the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 of the finals in Phoenix on July 6.

Business is heating up at Taco Boy's on Roosevelt Row with an assist from the Suns on a historical playoff run.

"It just helps that the Suns are in the Finals. Everybody comes downtown 'cause the stadium's like a mile down, you know what I mean? So it just helps," said Francisco Cornejo, owner of Taco Boy's.

Last year at this time, the COVID-19 pandemic shell shocked local business owners just like Cornejo, leaving them wondering if they'll make it financially.

"July 5th last year was like completely shut down right here. Like it was a ghost town and right now it's like, it's crazy how much can change in a year," Cornejo said.

Just blocks away at Jackalope Gastropub, there's no bigger Suns series to prepare for.

"We've been having to look at the gamedays and make lots of adjustments. What time they can come in and just prepping up and getting ready for the volume that we get in here," said Katherine McMahan, bartender and manager at Jackalope Gastropub.

The revitalization of downtown is parallel to the rebirth of the Suns franchise.

"To see everything come back to life and then also just like the added excitement of the whole city revolving around the Suns," McMahan said.

A business mindset is no longer focused on surviving, but now winning.

"Imagine a parade. Reaping the rewards of having a parade in downtown. That'll be insane," Cornejo said.

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