Winona Main Street promotes Shop Local initiative

Customers can pick up a coupon sheet from any of the 21 participating downtown businesses or...
Customers can pick up a coupon sheet from any of the 21 participating downtown businesses or print it online.(WEAU)
Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 7:25 PM CST
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WINONA, Minn. (WEAU) -

One city is stressing the importance of shopping local this week.

Now is especially important in supporting its downtown businesses.

If you make your way to Downtown Winona, you’ll come across unique shops like Heart’s Desire.

“Our store is very eclectic, we have it divided into rooms of different things so customers can experience all different kinds of merchandise,” said Lynne Hartert, owner of Heart’s Desire. “Certainly have things made here in Minnesota, but it’s important to have things made here in the US.”

Hartert has owned the store for over 30 years. The pandemic has meant a slow down in getting shelves stocked.

“We’re anxious to get filled back up again,” Hartert said. “It’s been a little different this year with COVID in getting our shipments in a timely manner.”

It has also slowed the number of people coming in to browse.

Enter, the Winona Main Street program’s Shop Local Winter Edition campaign.

“We started talking about this a few months ago as a way to spur downtown shopping and encourage people to get downtown,” said Ben Strand, Winona Main Street Program Manager.

“Our restaurants, our retail, our bars, all of those industries that are small businesses have really struggled through the pandemic,” said Christie Ransom, President & CEO of the Winona Area Chamber of Commerce.

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 4th,” Strand said. “You can be entered for a chance to win a $20 gift card from each participating business.”

Even as the campaign wraps up this week, Hartert is just excited to see the extra foot traffic coming into her doors.

“I think it’s been great to get people out,” said Hartert. “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 and enjoy the sunshine.”

“Thankfully we’ve been pretty lucky a lot of people in Winona are still super supportive of our small business community,” Strand added.

“They’re the heartbeat of what makes our region so special,” said Ransom.

It’s a commitment Winona Main Street hopes can help small businesses continue to thrive moving ahead.

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 the campaign a yearly event.

For more information on Shop Local Winter Edition, click here.

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