Now that some businesses, like restaurants and salons, are allowed to reopen in the state of Michigan, we're all more than eager to scratch that socializing itch and, lets face it, finally get a haircut. And that's great. Our Southwest Michigan businesses sure could use a little help from neighbors like us. Those who still aren't sure about being in-house guests at restaurants can certainly still do curb-side, and when all other options are exhausted, the purchase of a gift card is a great way to keep our favorite places humming along.

But there are local businesses that are not part of the latest phase of re-opening, and it might be a little while before they're allowed to welcome customers inside. Downtown Kalamazoo has a plan. That plan combines the best of downtown attractions with our fabulous Michigan summer weather; an outdoor Pedestrian Market.

Starting today and running through September 25th (with few exceptions) traffic will be shut down on the Kalamazoo Mall from Michigan to South every Friday through September 25th to allow for downtown businesses to bring their products on to the sidewalk for shopping that is conducive to physical distancing and allowances for groups. The businesses will also be utilizing the parking spaces along the mall, so if you tend to park there regularly, you won't be able to do until 10:00am the following Saturday morning.

Stopping along the mall for the Pedestrian Market is a great way to show our local businesses they have your support, and if you don't find what you're looking for today, a gift certificate is always a great way to promise you'll be back tomorrow.