Business Activity Cut by More Than Half During Papal Visit: Philadelphia Controller

A new report all but confirms what restaurants and retailers have been saying: The papal weekend was bad for business.

Economic activity was cut by more than half for some businesses during Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia this weekend, according to a report by City Controller Alan Butkovitz.

Restaurants within the "traffic box," or Francis Festival Grounds, reported business was at about 45 percent compared to a normal weekend, while retailers said it was at about 21 percent, according to the report.

“Several restaurants stated they were the hardest hit because they stocked up on supplies over the course of the week only to find that the demand never materialized,” Butkovitz said. Read more about the economic impact at

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