Saturday, March 1, 2014

'Deal of the Day' Campaign Aims to Boost Businesses After a Slow Winter

UPTOWN - Exposed hands and faces aren't the only things hurting in this frightfully frigid, snowy winter. Small business owners said the extreme weather has hit their bottom lines.

That's why Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) and commerce officials are partnering with shops across Andersonville, Edgewater and Uptown to launch the "Deal News" campaign, a promotion featuring one-day discounts and specials at one or more stores each day in March.

Osterman said Thursday he hoped the campaign, a collaboration between the chambers of commerce in Uptown, Andersonville and Edgewater would be a "shot in the arm" for local business.

"This winter's been brutal," Osterman said. "It's been brutal on everyone. It's been very hard on businesses. We've heard a lot from local businesses that there's been a drop off."

Ashley Collier, the manager at Sparkles Fine Jewelry in Andersonville said January has been a bit hard with, as she put it, "people hibernating because of the arctic tundra."

"I think it's extremely wonderful that the chambers and the ward is reaching out to the small businesses and trying to make sure that we are getting the attention that we may have missed out on because of the cold," she said.

On March 14, Sparkles is "going to be playing a little game" as part of the Deal of the Day campaign, Collier said.

Collier said her store, at 5405 N. Clark St., will ask patrons to guess how many diamonds are in a piece of jewelry (likely a pendant, she said, although it hasn't been finalized yet) and the person who guesses closest to the actual amount will win a 14-karat white gold and diamond pendant necklace.

City Olive, which sells special olive oil and gourmet food products at 5644 N. Clark in Andersonville, has experienced its own winter woes, owner Karen Rose said.

"It's definitely been quieter than normal, for sure," Rose said. "Obviously it's been a long winter for everybody, whether you're in retail, restaurants, the service industry; It's been more difficult for people to get around and want to be out."

On March 25, City Olive is offering 10 percent off and a free mini whisk with the purchase of oil.

Shake Rattle and Read held a four-day sale that kicked off on Valentine's Day to commemorate the book, record and memorabilia store's 48th year in Uptown. But the venerable shop raked in "a couple thousand dollars less," than last year's anniversary sale did, said owner Ric Addy, who pinned the decrease on the cold and snow.

"This was probably the worst winter we've ever had here," Addy said, discussing a drop in sales at his store, 4812 N. Broadway.

Addy is optimistic his fortunes will change with the season.

"I know when spring comes things will start popping around here," he said.

Here are some of the deals available in March:

* On Monday, Cookies and Carnitas, 5757 N. Broadway, is offering customers a buy-one-get-one deal for cookies.

* On March 7, Andersonville's Swedish American Museum, 5211 N. Clark St., is offering 20 percent off all Swedish glass, crystal, and children's books in the museum store.

* On March 19, Uncommon Ground, 1401 W. Devon Ave., is giving customers 20 percent off their bill at the restaurant between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

* On March 25, Uptown's Demera Ethiopian Restaurant, 4801 N. Broadway, will give a 25 percent discount on entrees.

* On March 29 in Andersonville, graphic novels and kids' comics are 20 percent off at Third Coast Comics, 6234 N. Broadway, on March 29.

For a full schedule of Deal of the Day promotions, click here.

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