PRINCETON, W.v. (WVVA) -- As part of an initiative to help stimulate economic growth on Mercer Street, a program called Small Town Tuesday's is giving shoppers a little bit of extra time to peruse the aisles of some of their favorite small businesses.
Select merchants are doing something to accommodate weekday workers by extending their hours until 8pm every Tuesday until Christmas.
Participating businesses include The Classy Closet, The RiffRaff Art Boutique, The Hatter’s Bookshop, The Bronze Look, Danny’s Bar & Grill, Classy Closet, Holler Gallery, Appalachian Coffee House, Hammer & Stain, Artistic Adventures, Simply Beautiful Hair Salon , OoLaLa Family Hair Salon, Associated Photography, and WuFu Tatoos.
Lori McKinney, a coordinator of Small Town Tuesday's and owner of The RiffRaff Art Boutique, says that this change comes from a vocal community. "Community members have reported that they want to shop and support these small businesses, but a lot of them have nine to five jobs and they just don't have time to get down here during regular business hours."
Tammy Dotson, owner of the The Hatter's Bookstore, said that a few extra hours will help relieve the stress of time sensitive shopping.
"People don't want to feel rushed, especially in an area like a bookstore or art gallery," Dotson said. "They want to take their time to browse. You know, we want to let people have the opportunity to spend as much time as they need to find exactly what they're wanting."
It's a move to benefit shoppers who want to buy local and businesses dealing with the losses of the pandemic, espcially with the holidays just around the corner.
Steve Jessee, owner of Associated Photography, is looking forward to possible new clientele looking for a Christmas present. "So when somebody can come in and look at things and remember a month from now when Christmas presents are due, they can come here and purchase a nice gift for someone."
Shopping local is a major part of what keeps the downtown Princeton scene thriving. Extending hours for those that may have been impacted by the pandemic is something that could improve the economic status of smaller businesses.
"Just keeping these dollars locally are so important. Independent businesses all around town create the culture of our community," McKinney said. "That's what makes Princeton a vibrant and colorful place to live. So we want to make sure on the other side of this really difficult time that these businesses survive and thrive."
The hope is Small Town Tuesday's will have a big impact for shoppers and merchants alike.