Philadelphia officials working hard to get wary businesses excited by prospect of papal crowds

PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia businesses could enjoy a financial windfall this month from the crowds expected for the papal visit.

That is, if employees can get to work through the security perimeters and road closures.

More than 1 million pilgrims are expected to see Pope Francis when he comes to town Sept. 26 -27.

To encourage restaurants and shops to stay open for the historic occasion, the city this week launched the hashtag #OpenInPHL.

The marketing campaign comes as officials try to defuse a backlash over traffic restrictions and other logistical challenges. Some business owners say they’ll close that weekend rather than deal with the headaches.

But the city is working to help stores and restaurants with concerns about weekend deliveries and trash pickup.