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Content Any Way U Want It!

BG Falcon Media

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September 21, 2023

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Holiday season keeps businesses busy during break

Despite the mass exodus of nearly 16,000 students for winter break, local business owners won’t be scraping by to make ends meet.

The holiday season makes up for any lost business that local owners might feel.

“Winter break for us is our busiest time of the year,” said Greg Halamay, owner of Finder’s Records on Main Street. “Things quiet down after the first of the year, but that’s common for any retail business.”

Halamay usually has to restock his inventory after the “holiday sweep,” offering discounts throughout different parts of the store to attract the local crowd.

Practices like these are tactics Dwayne Gremler, University marketing professor, suggests college town businesses employ to make up for the loss of a target audience.

“Ideally, you have more than one target audience … so you can shift emphasis to other groups through price promotions, contests or special hours,” Gremler said. “It’s a good time to drum up new business to local crowds to drive traffic you usually don’t get.”

Finder’s offers vinyl records sales and discounted turn tables, DVDs and CDs, Hallaway said.

A lot of his business comes from community residents more than students throughout the year anyway, he said.

However, it is during these breaks that those residents come out more.

“We do a mix of things to target different populations of the region [during break],” said Barbara Ruland, executive director of Downtown Bowling Green.

This includes promoting discounts through social media, or through downtown-wide events such as Small Business Saturday, which was Nov. 30.

The event promoted shopping at local businesses, with a chance to win gift certificates to restaurants and shops. Downtown Bowling Green gave out $1,000 in gift certificates, which Ruland said will draw more business since people will be spending more time there spending their award money.

For Keeps, a gift shop located on Main Street, participated in the event and owner Amy Craft said business will remain steady as usual.

“It’s not a real dramatic drop in business because we’re so busy until Christmas,” Craft said.

Both residents and students are drawn to the Vera Bradley and Alex & Ali products the store offers, driving its business.

For Keeps also updates its Facebook page with special promotions when it gets new products, Craft said.

Aside from local discounts and deals, The Melt Shoppe had its grand opening Tuesday, which Ruland hopes will spawn more interest in visiting downtown.

“It’s different downtown when the students aren’t here, but it’s not like we roll up the sidewalks,” Ruland said.

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