Store owner Kimberly Strunk is excited that her Richmond business, Hoof n’ Paw, will participate today in its third Small Business Saturday.
“We rely on the holidays to help our bottom line,” Strunk said Friday at her store in the Carriage Gate Shopping Center off the Eastern Bypass.
Strunk’s pet supplies business opened in August 2010, the same year Small Business Saturday was created by American Express to promote small, locally owned stores as an alternative to big-box retailers for holiday shopping.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the fabric of our communities,” said Karen G. Mills, administrator of the federal Small Business Administration, in a news release about Small Business Saturday. “Over the last two decades, small and new businesses have been responsible for creating two out of every three net new jobs in the U.S., and today over half of all working Americans own or work for a small business.”
This year, at least a dozen Madison County businesses are promoting Small Business Saturday events through social media and advertising.
Strunk is partnering with another small Richmond business, Dazzling Dogs Pet Spa, to offer free dog nail trims from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday.
Strunk said her niche is different from big-box pet supply stores.
“I don’t even try to compete” with the big chains, she said. “We’d rather be here for the shoppers after they’ve gotten a rest.”
“Pets are literally on many people’s (Christmas) lists,” Strunk added, noting her holiday-themed pet clothes and treats are always popular this time of year.
A neighboring store to Hoof n’ Paw is about to experience its first Small Business Saturday.
The Surprise Party store opened Oct. 27, and owner Maurice Roberts will be discounting everything in the store today 10 percent.
The store has everything needed for a festive affair, including balloons, themed party decorations and invitations. If the Surprise Party doesn’t have something a customer needs, Roberts said he can order it.
Roberts said he worked for 20 years for chain retailers before opening his own business.
“I wanted to get into something I’d enjoy,” Roberts said.
He and his wife, Tammy, decided to open a party supplies store because it was a business that can easily be expanded to include event planning, photography and catering, Roberts said.
Across town at Richmond Centre, Jillian’s Specialty Gifts & Fine Wines is tucked in at the end of a shop row across from Cinemark movie theater.
The store was open Friday offering several discounts on a variety of items, and owner Jill Taylor said more sales were set for today.
The store opened Oct. 2, 2011, and will be celebrating its second holiday season.
However, Taylor said she received her license to sell wine and spirits in March, so this is the first time her store will be able to offer specialty bottles for gifts.
The store has customized gift baskets and sells wreaths, jewelry, girls’ hair accessories, UK-themed items and baby gifts.
“I had been doing customized baskets for five years out of my home,” Taylor said. She also was a sales representative for a wine company, so she combined those two jobs and opened her store at Richmond Centre.
This holiday season, the Kentucky Arts Council is launching its annual Give a Gift Made in Kentucky campaign. The council encourages people to buy Kentucky-made gifts throughout the holiday season. To find out more, shoppers can go to www.artscouncil.ky.gov.
Sarah Hogsed can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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EKU wins OVC tourney
The Eastern Kentucky University Colonels are OVC champions and are headed to the Big Dance.
Hot early shooting propelled EKU to a thrilling 79-73 win over defending champion Belmont Saturday in the championship game of the OVC Tournament.
The Colonels receive the OVC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The win gave EKU it's sixth OVC Conference Tournament title.
The Colonels hit four consecutive three pointers to open the game and led by as many as 15 points in the first half.
Corey Walden led all scorers in the game with 29 points, including 10-of-11 free throws. Glenn Cosey finished with 23 points on 5-of-8 shooting on three-pointers and Tarius Johnson added 15 points and five rebounds.
Veteran certification officer fired from EKU
Accusations of cheating on an online test led to the firing of an 18-year Eastern Kentucky University employee Wednesday.
Retha Sandlin, formerly a veteran certification officer in the Burnam House for EKU’s student veterans, said the decision resulted from a misunderstanding on the part of Jaime Roberts, the house’s interim office manager.
Proposed bill takes aim at heroin problem
Proposed legislation before the Kentucky General Assembly aims to combat the state’s growing heroin problem using three strategies – education, treatment and law enforcement aid.
Sen. Jared Carpenter, R-Berea, is one of the sponsors of Senate Bill 5. The bill was passed in the Senate earlier this year, 36-1, and is waiting to be heard by the House Judiciary Committee.
New kid at the market
A three-day old black-and-white goat named Ellsa was the star Saturday morning at the new Richmond Downtown Farmers Market.
The Nubian goat mix was brought to the weekly market by Four Sisters Farm. Located off Four Mile Road in Madison County, the farm specializes in goat products.
Hundreds turn out for fishing team’s fundraiser
Madison Central High School’s bass fishing team got a boost Saturday when its first-ever Fishing Tackle Swap turned out to be a huge success.
About 500 buyers showed up to check out what the 38 vendors had to offer. At least 17 of the vendors were from outside Madison County. There were even a few boats for sale.
Pets of the Week from the Madison County Animal Shelter
The Madison County Animal Shelter is located at 1386 Richmond Road in Berea. Shelter hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Animals available for adoption can be seen from noon to close Monday through Saturday.
Feds deny giving OK to selenium standards
When lawmakers wrestled last year with new standards for releasing selenium into streams by coal mines and industry, they were assured by state officials the proposals were based on sound science and approved by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials.
Eastern students practice fire fighting in burning building
Thick barrels of smoke rolled out of the room as nearby observers could feel the fire’s heat on their faces. Furniture and drywall fueled the blaze. Flames licked the top of the door frame and the flat ceiling.
Airport planning mock disaster drill
Madison Airport officials and Eastern Kentucky University are making plans for a mock disaster drill tentatively scheduled for August.
Prior 'bad acts' to be allowed in Marcum murder trial
A Madison Circuit judge ruled Friday that prior “bad acts” of murder defendant Christina Marcum may be admitted during her upcoming trial.
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