SF merchants may win or lose with torch run

April 8, 2008 7:29:51 PM PDT
It's nail-biting time for merchants along Wednesday's Olympic torch relay route in San Francisco.

Will they make money because of the foot traffic or loose money because of the protestors? Either way, some business owners plan to make a political statement.

San Francisco based Credo Mobile is organizing its customers to line the torch route with placards in support of Tibet.

"It's a great moment for us to stand up and say what is it that we believe in as a country and what is it that we believe in as a company and we, as a community of customers, to make that message heard loud and clear," says Credo Mobile political director Becky Bond.

The company is part of working assets, which has a long history of contributing one percent of its revenue to human rights groups. Credo expects 1,000 of its customers to participate.

"I don't think it's selfish or insincere to just stand there and be united with other people who feel the same way," says Credo customer Kristy LaFollette.

Ben & Jerry's ice cream is bringing a three-vehicle convoy to criticize China for not helping to end violence in Sudan's Darfur region.

Businesses along the route plan to stay open, although owners are worried about the protests.

Dan Louie owns the Chickens and Donuts shop across from AT&T Park.

"That's something that we worry about. We take chance. We not going to close it," says Louie.

At Fisherman's Wharf, Jefferson Street shop owners also have trepidation.

"We'll see. If they go wild, we'll just shut it down, right? Hope it's not going to be like that," says Jefferson Street shop owner Dave Anano.

Sightseeing and charter boats at the wharf also expect to be impacted.

"I would imagine there will be a lot of people here, but their focus will be whether there's a protest or not or just seeing the torch go by," says Miss Farallone's boat Captain Eric Shortt.

By Wednesday night, the torch run will be history, and the businesses along the route will either be relieved or raking in the dough.

Olympic Torch Relay Route through San Francisco:

  • McCovey Cove northbound to Third Street
  • Third Street to the Embarcadero
  • The Embarcadero to Jefferson Street
  • Jefferson Street to Hyde Street
  • Hyde Street to Beach Street
  • Beach Street to Polk Street
  • Polk Street to Bay Street
  • Bay Street back to the Embarcadero
  • The Embarcadero to Justin Herman Plaza for a concluding ceremony


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