Business in the Old Market closes due to less foot traffic

Business in the Old Market closes due to less foot traffic

OMAHA,Neb(FOX42KPTM)-A popular business in the Old Market is now closing. It's called the "Tea Smith,” and it's been there since 2011.

Now, its owner says the sales are going down because of less foot traffic.

"We could not keep it going financially,” said Tim Smith, who owns the business.

He's right next door to M's Pub. Last year, a fire destroyed the building and badly damaged the ones around it. It's been under construction ever since.

"It was very tough for the businesses there, and it has continued to be a challenge for people in the Old Market," Smith said.

He says M's Pub construction led to fewer people walking by.

"It made it difficult for customers to see us and travel to us," Smith said.

However, another small business across the street saw a different fortune.

Matthew Schadeer, who works for Oma Gallery said, "Our sales have been the best as I can remember. We still get a lot of people from out of town who come by and visit us as well as locals. We're doing pretty good.”

FOX 42 reached out to the Old Market Business Association to find out if some businesses are going up or down.

It said the following:

"The business growth of the Old Market is up and doing well. Some businesses have suffered some dips in business due to less traffic. but it's less foot traffic. Almost all the businesses lost to the fire are coming back.... with the amount of businesses we have we can, and do, accommodate the largest parties in the city."

For Smith, even though his business is done there, he wishes the best for the Old Market.

"It's a very unique cultural area that tourists enjoy coming to, so hopefully Omaha will continue to support it."

Although this store is closing, there is another Tea Smith on 78th and Dodge streets that is still open for business.

The Tea Smith location in the Old Market will be closing Sept. 24.

Until then, Smith says he is working with his staff to make sure they all can keep their jobs.

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