#OpeninPHL gathering steam as it ushers businesses aboard papal bandwagon

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 Mayor Michael Nutter puts up a sign at a Center City Wawa letting customers know it will remain open through the pope's visit to Philadelphia. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Mayor Michael Nutter puts up a sign at a Center City Wawa letting customers know it will remain open through the pope's visit to Philadelphia. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

The #OpeninPHL campaign is gathering steam.  Businesses are putting up posters to send out a message.

As a band played Monday, Mayor Michael Nutter put up a sign at a Center City Wawa letting customers know it will remain open through the pope’s visit to Philadelphia. In the face of dire expectations about traffic restrictions, many businesses over the last few weeks have said they will lock their doors during the Sept. 26 and 27 visit of Pope Francis.

But Donna Farrell of the World Meeting of Families said the campaign encouraging businesses to stay open is picking up steam.

“Everywhere we go, people are talking about it and asking how can we be a part of this,” she said.

Wawa is actually rushing the opening of a new flagship store on South Broad Street to accommodate papal tourists and city residents alike, said David Simonetti, director of store operations.

“A lot of our people take buses or walk to work, so we’re confident they are going to get in,” he said.

The city is also working with businesses to keep a supply line open.

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