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November 26, 2012

Observance encourages support for local businesses

LOGANSPORT — Small businesses in downtown Logansport celebrated Small Business Saturday by handing out coupons to customers.

The observance is a nationwide push encouraging customers to support local businesses.

Diana Brown, store manager of Judy’s GoodLife Emporium, talked to the store’s owner, Judy Masters, about creating an opportunity to cross-promote downtown stores. Workers at Judy’s GoodLife Emporium, Pear Tree Gallery, The People’s Winery, State Cinemas and Savanah Vintage each handed out coupon packages with coupons for discounts at the various stores.

Masters said her store was busy with 20 customers visiting the store before noon. Masters’ store was decorated for Christmas and was offering cookies and coffee to customers.

“Logansport is a small town, and if we only promote big businesses we will lose small business feel,” Masters said. “Because we are smaller, we are able to hand pick what we carry and make sure we have items customers will want.”

Masters said she tries to avoid carrying things available at bigger stores.

Judy’s GoodLife Emporium is a Natural Health Store stocked with nutritional supplements, specialty foods and other items.

Nikki Reid, owner of the downtown gift store The Nest, said she tried to promote Small Business Saturday every year.

“I think it’s important because it is what keeps the community going,” Reid said. “It wouldn’t be good for our town to only have big stores.”

Shopping locally supports local businesses and also makes sure money stays local, Nathan Origer, executive director of Pulaski County Community Development Commission, said.

“Depending on which survey you look at, for every dollar spent locally, 50 to 70 cents stays in the community,” Origer said.

Connie Neininger, president of the Logansport Economic Development Foundation, called Small Business Saturday a day to support the community.

“People need to shop local first,” she said. “Even though there is a specific day to support local businesses, we should look at every day as an opportunity to shop within our community. “

Teri Partridge, one of the owners of Pear Tree Gallery, said she had a nice, steady pace of customers visiting her store on Saturday. The coupons handed out by Partridge and other store owners won’t expire until the end of December.

Teri Hawes, owner of Savanah Vintage, said it’s important to shop locally.

“The community has to support locally owned, independent businesses,” she said. “Not only is the money staying in the community, but customers are supporting their neighbors by shopping locally.”

Beth Jump of Walton was supporting Small Business Saturday at the local business, The People’s Winery. Jump had a wine tasting with her aunt, Barb Bailey, who was in town for the holiday from Flint, Mich.

“I think small businesses are the heart of the community,” Jump said. “I’m glad we have a place like The People’s Winery in town. It’s fun and it has great wine.”

Amie Sites is a reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5150 or amie.sites@pharostribune.com.

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