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Hundreds shop local during downtown Hastings ‘Small Business Saturday’

Local shops in downtown Hastings welcomed a large crowd during the annual 'Small Business...
Local shops in downtown Hastings welcomed a large crowd during the annual 'Small Business Saturday.'(Hailey Mach, KSNB)
Published: Nov. 27, 2021 at 6:05 PM CST
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Small Business Saturday was held across the country to help highlight local businesses. Shops in downtown Hastings opened their doors to a big crowd Saturday.

Owner of L C Gifts, Elsie Houdek, was one of the business owners participating in the event. Houdek said people started showing up before some of the stores started inviting in the guests.

“It was nice to see all the people outside before I even opened,” Houdek said. “Looked like there was going to be a parade downtown.”

The first 200 people who lined up at the corners of North Hastings Avenue and West Second Street were given a free ‘Swag Bag’ to start off ‘Small Business Saturday.’ In addition to the ‘Swag Bags’ given out, anyone who presented their receipt from a local business to staff at Blue Moon Coffee were entered into a drawing to win $200 to put towards a purchase in the downtown.

Houdek said the event helped bring in the more-than-usual amount of customers to her store.

“Quite a bit. I tried to count them but i lost count after 25 so, it’s a lot more than 25,” she said.

Brandy Mason and Kim Wynn were out downtown Saturday to see what the event was all about.

“Doing some supporting local businesses downtown,” Mason said.

“And I’ve lived in Hastings for 30-some years and this is the first time for me,” Wynn added.

Houdek noted, having people like Mason and Wynn supporting local businesses meant a lot to her.

“It’s really nice,” Houdek said. “I used to have a store in Norfolk and we didn’t have the foot traffic we do down here in Hastings.”

Mason said shopping local is important, and Wynn described these stores to be unique when compare to ones you could find almost anywhere.

“These are, you know, people that we live in the same town with and supporting them and their families instead of Walmart instead of these big stores that are, you know, all over is important,” Mason said.

“And they’ve got something different to offer that you can’t find in a big retail store,” Wynn, agreeing with Mason.

Before the event finished up at 4 p.m., Mason said she wanted to find gifts for Christmas presents by the end of their shopping trip Saturday.

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