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Downtown merchants have a good financial season

A decision by some downtown merchants to stay open late on Thursday night and have merchandise sales turned out to be a financial windfall, of sorts.

Cobia Burris, owner of Sweet Dreams, Sewn Seams, & Jelli Beans at 228 East Washington Street, said that her business has been doing very well this season.

“We had a very good turnout last night, and sales were great,” Cobia said. “The recent construction in this area didn’t hurt us a bit. Actually, our numbers are up from last year, even during the construction. The biggest complaint we got were from people who had to park in the City Parking Lot.”

Cobia decided to turn the late-night shopping event into an annual ritual after last year’s experiences. “We did this last year at this time, and we had such a good turnout then, we decided to start making it an annual event. This year, we had calls in October asking about it.”

Jenny Webster owns Little Bossies Maternity &Children’s Boutique at 259 East Washington Street. “We did real well. We had both a lot of sales and people. We had certain gifts already pre-wrapped. “We call this ‘One to Show and One to Go.’ We also had door prizes and gave reindeer pops to everyone who came in.”

Jenny said the income made on Thursday’s night of saying open late was nothing short of fantastic. “Financially, Thursday was the best day I’ve had since being in business. She said two women came in who had recently found that they were pregnant, and got information on her business’ Baby Registry. Little Bossies carries clothing, toys, and other items for newborns up to children of up to 12 years of age. “We carry Melissa and Doug toys, which are known for their high quality.”

Little Bossies also provides a service Jenny calls ‘The Wish List’ in which children having a birthday or any other special event  first comes into the store to pick out what they want. The party guests can then come into the store and pick out gifts, which are then pre-wrapped, for that person. “We mark them off the list as the gifts are purchased to avoid duplication. The party guests then come in, get the wrapped present, and take it to the party.” Jenny noted that this takes all the guess-work out of giving gifts, because the person buying the gift no longer has to consider what to get as a present for a particular child.

Jenny also noted that the recent construction Downtown did not hinder business within her store. The workers were considerate, and, as for the customers, it was just business as usual.” She added that the construction were very considerate of the businesses and business-owners while the renovation work was underway.

Cindy Corley, co-owner of Old Bank Christmas, Gifts, and Bakery, also said she and her family had a prosperous night Thursday. “This year, we started staying open late on the first Thursday of every month, but when the Christmas Season started to approached, more merchants started to participate,” she said.

“I personally thought it was fabulous. This year, we had a very good turnout, and things were just wonderful. We did fabulous financially.”  She added her shop held a drawing for a six-foot tall Santa replica worth $400, “Everyone wanted that big Santa! I’m glad it went to who really appreciated it.” The winner was April Allen.

Cindy said she again plans to be open late on Dec, 20. “That way, anyone rushed for Christmas can still shop. We will be staying open until 8 and will offer more specials.”