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Keeping Local Stores In Business In 2014

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By Rachel Holt

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) The recent closing of both Zulu's Bagels and Shot in the Dark prompts the question... How do we keep local businesses thriving in the new year?

We looked for the answers.

"It was probably one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make but if I can't make it maintain itself, it’s hard to justify keeping it open," explains Lisa Reeder, Shot in the Dark owner.

As local favorite Shot in the Dark closes, one must ask... How do we keep local businesses in competition with corporate businesses?

"We all have a responsibility. You can't sit around and say, ‘That's terrible I never went there.’ Well, if you never went there, that's why they aren't staying in business," points out Shawn Barigar, Twin Falls Chamber of Commerce.

While some local businesses have had to close their doors, others have found that moving to the downtown area creates booming business.

"For moving down here, we did really well... we were probably up 20, 25 percent," says Tom Newnham, co-owner of Moose Hill.

Tom Newnham is just one owner who took advantage of the downtown area.

"The location we were at was good, but coming down here is better. We saw 75 percent more foot traffic coming in the door as opposed to where we were," Newnham explains.

"It's building up; the atmosphere is nice. This past summer, there were a lot of people walking down the street and coming in here... I was real surprised," adds Joann Olbert, owner of The Toy Orphanage.

Despite their success, store owners express the need for customers to help them compete with larger corporations.

"The mom and pop businesses have everything unique; we have all kinds of handmade stuff here and what is not homemade is made by local vendors," Newnham points out.

"We deserve a chance, too. This is the old part of town, but this is where this town started down here and we need to support the people down here too," Olbert says.

Hoping that business opens many doors this upcoming year.

If you would like more information on how you can help local businesses, please visit twinfallschamber.com.


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