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Meet in the Center encourages residents to shop local

Clarence students were caroling through the area during the Merchant Stroll.

BY: Kaitlin Fritz, Metro Source | November 29, 2012

The local businesses of Clarence Center encouraged residents to meet in the center and enjoy a holiday merchant stroll through the local small businesses in the area on small business Saturday.

Meet in the Center is a nonprofit organization made up of small business owners in the Clarence Center area, the four corners specifically. This group hosts several community events throughout the year to help support the community and help other businesses succeed.

The latest event was the holiday shop local merchant stroll.

This holiday celebration gave everyone an opportunity to enjoy the services of the small businesses located around the intersection of Clarence Center and Goodrich Roads.

This event fit in with the Shop Local Campaign that Meet in the Center is supporting.

Small business Saturday is the Saturday following black Friday in which shoppers are encouraged to shop at local small businesses to help support the their local communities.

Throughout the merchant stroll, shoppers and their families enjoyed the company of a special guest, Santa, and sleigh rides with their families as well.

“It was a huge success,” said Meet in the Center member Deborah Tangelder. “We had a great out pour of support.”

This type of event gives everyone the opportunity to enjoy the spirit of the holidays along with getting some holiday shopping done without dealing with the commotion of the larger stores.

“What was nice was the level of enjoyment that people had in coming out and supporting their local businesses,” said Tangelder.

This year’s merchant stroll was similar to past years but allowed people to come inside the businesses and warm up rather than walk outside in the streets. Each business had an open house with refreshments, inviting everybody inside away from the chilly weather.

Carolers were strolling the street, entertaining shoppers and getting everyone in the holiday spirit. Meet in the Center items were also for sale at the event.

Tangelder, believes that this group is the example of teamwork. She added that these events are held to promote the local businesses and show everyone what they’re all about.

“It’s allowing people to come out and see what Clarence Center has to offer and enjoying that on a greater level and making this a destination,” she said. “There is something to be said about stores that are not necessarily larger superstores. Although those are necessary for certain things, it’s just important to remember that small owned businesses are also what keeps the surrounding community going.”

Meet in the Center members are the Perfect Gift, Get Heeled, Bank of Akron, Clarence Center Coffee Company, Delmonte Hair Salon, Clarence Center Preschool and Childcare, Gertie’s, Creative Essence, and Your Truly with active members from the Alpaca Farm, Clarence Center Family Dentistry, Trabucco Fitness, Miracle Hand Massage and the Clarence Center Pizza Company.

Clarence Center is made of many historical buildings that have been turned into these businesses over the years.

“We’re trying to show that Clarence Center was the place to be in the 1900s and this is very much a place to be in 2012 and years to come,” said Tangelder.

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