WINONA, Min. (WLAX/WEUX) – One city is stressing the importance of shopping local this week. First News at Nine’s David LaClair talked with those involved on why now is more important than ever to support its downtown businesses.
If you make your way to downtown Winona, you’ll come across unique shops like Heart’s Desire.
Lynne Hartert, Heart’s Desire Owner said, “Our store is very eclectic, we have it divided into rooms of different things so customers can experience all different kinds of merchandise. Certainly, have things made here in Minnesota, but it’s important to have things made here in the U.S.
Lynne Hartert has owned the store for over 30 years. The pandemic has meant a slowdown in getting shelves stocked.
“We’re anxious to get filled back up again, it’s been a little different this year with covid in getting our shipments in a timely manner,” said Hartert.
Also slowed, the number of people coming in to browse. Enter, the Winona Main Street program’s “Shop Local Winter Edition Campaign. “
Ben Strand, Winona Main Street Program Manager said, “We started talking about this a few months ago as a way to spur downtown shopping and encourage people to get downtown.”
Christie Ransom, Winona Chamber of Commerce President & CEO said, “Our restaurants, our retail, our bars, all of those industries that are small businesses have really struggled through the pandemic.”
The campaign started last week and runs through Sunday. Customers can pick up a coupon sheet from any of the 21 participating businesses or print it online.
“If you use a coupon at five or more of these businesses, you can turn this sheet in at the chamber of commerce in Winona by next Monday, March 4. You can be entered for a chance to win a $20 gift card from each participating business,” said Strand.
Even as the campaign wraps up this week, Lynne is just excited to see the extra foot traffic coming into her doors.
Hartert said, “I think it’s been great to get people out. I think the timing was almost perfect with the exception of those frigid days but otherwise, a day like today we’ve been busy. Everybody’s just anxious to get out.”
A commitment Winona Main Street hopes can help small businesses continue to thrive moving ahead.
In Winona, David LaClair, First News at Nine.
If you want to take part in shop local winter edition, there’s still time to find and use the coupons through Sunday. Winona Main Street says they look to make shop local winter edition a yearly event.