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Hastings businesses see big support through holiday shopping

Published: Dec. 30, 2020 at 4:30 PM CST
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - For the holiday shopping season the people of Hastings were challenged to shop at small businesses who are trying to recover from the impact of the pandemic. Even with the pandemic going on and people still a little nervous to come out to physical stores, a lot of people responded to the mayor’s challenge.

Mayor Corey Stutte wanted to bring more attention to small businesses and prevent the dip in sales around this time of year with online shopping becoming more popular.

Places like Gary Michael’s Clothiers have been trying to make up for lost revenue due to cancelled weddings and proms. They said many people came into the shop for gifts to show their support.

“I think it’s kind of nice to know people were mentally making themselves aware they were helping a good cause and the challenge we had here in Hastings,” Co-Owner Trish Ludemann said.

Down the road, Small Town Famous opened their second street store this fall. There was some concern around if the store would do well but it’s popularity has taken off.

“We didn’t know what to expect. I think in March we were like should we actually buy this building or pay the fee to back out or what should we do,” Owner Jacque Cranson said. “It’s definitely been a really nice surprise to be super busy and we’re excited to be here.”

On Shop Small Saturday, Cranson said the store was so full there was hardly room to move around. They saw a big interest from locals who wanted the Nebraska specific items.

“We just have products that are made all over the state and it’s kind of exciting because you know you’re getting something made in Nebraska,” Cranson said.

Other stores said while it wasn’t like a normal shopping season, they did well to build up revenue for the new year. It’ll be a couple of months before the final tally comes through of the mayor’s challenge but he said he has heard great things from many of the businesses across Hastings and the community continues to support their small businesses.

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