Local businesses thrive in upstate New York due to community

BUFFALO, N.Y. — What makes the city of Buffalo so unique is that it’s full of small and local businesses started by families and real people who turned an idea into a reality. Because of the tight-knit and supporting community, local businesses thrive all throughout the city and the surrounding suburbs. Ashker’s Juice Bar, located at 1002 Elmwood Ave. right in the middle of the city, is just one small business that has become so successful because of its loyal customers and authenticity. Ashker’s, the first juice bar in Western New York, was started nine years ago by Sarah Nasca and her boyfriend, Angelo Ashker.

Starting your own business can be a ‘very scary proposition’

Driving down Willow Street in Lansing, Mich. on a sunny afternoon, a passer-by notices there were 10 mannequins standing in front of a what it seems to be a clothing store. The mannequins were all dressed up from men’s to women’s clothing that were easily catching to the eye. Walking in, the visitor notices a woman sitting in a chair and a man in another. The store was called Unique Fashions; it was very small but it had so many clothes and items it was overwhelming.

“Now Hiring” signs more common than not in Northwest Michigan

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Looking around Traverse City it’s hard not to notice the large quantity of stores looking for more employees in this northwest Michigan beach town. Diane Kimmel, who taught general business at Northwestern Michigan College, says “summer is Traverse City’s tourism time, so early summer and spring are big times for hiring. Traverse City Area Public Schools is one of the biggest employers and so is Munson (hospital). If you think about those two places, the public schools have to hire during the summer and the hospital is pretty much ongoing.”

Kimmel says the most successful way for Traverse City businesses to reach a larger audience of potential employees is by either newspaper ads or employment websites: “If you’re a local person you probably know about the email that comes out every week or every day called The Ticker.

VIDEO: A 50/50 deal

When we see or hear of a consignment shop some words that come to mind may include cheap, bargain, deal, unique; the list goes on and on. Owners of consignment shops are not only in it for the profit they make off of their store, but to recycle items and products that hold a sentimental and historical value to the community, rather than to have it misused or thrown out. Customers visit these shops in hope to find a deal on a product that still has value or to bring in a piece that they believe still has value in hope of making some sort of profit off of it sometime down the road. Whatever the reason may be, owners and customers cherish the products a consignment store has to offer just as much as the profit they make off of those same exact products.  

 

 

Lansing business owners share their secrets to success

Owning a business is far from easy, even under perfect circumstances. Success is hard-won and results from months (or years) of effort and dedication. What, then, is the secret to success in the capital of the state, where organized events, politics and tourism make a significant difference in traffic? Chad Jordan, the owner of Cravings Gourmet Popcorn, believes in being genuine. “I think what helped us stay in business for 10 years was authenticity,” Jordan said.

Traverse City has some special things to offer entrepreneurs

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Traverse City in northwestern Michigan is home to many entrepreneurs. The town has a supportive food scene, excellent tourism, a strong Chamber of Commerce, and many citizens with amazing stories to tell. If you walk through Downtown Traverse City, you may come across Ben Phillips, owner and founder of Ben’s Boards, a company that rents paddle boards on Grand Traverse Bay. Scroll through social media and it’s likely you’ll see Sean Murray, founder of Green Light Podcast.

Old Town starts to squeeze beyond its borders; is that a good thing?

What is Old Town Lansing? The old neighborhood may be stretching beyond its original boundaries. Those who live and work here are really trying to expand what people think of as Old Town. For example, the Golden Harvest and Ozone’s Brewhouse to the north; Scoop’s, Strings n Things and Elderly Instruments to the west; and Preuss Pets and Zoobie’s to the east are all a part of town, according to Matt Hund, Old Town Commercial Association board member. But it’s not as simple as simply extending borders.

Old Town 4-3-50 helps keep money in the community

For areas like Old Town, it is essential that they keep money within their local community. Many of the businesses are owned and operated by individuals who rely on their business for their livelihood. This is easier said than done. However, the Old Town Commercial Association has devised a program with the hope of keeping money in Old Town. Old Town 4-3-50 is a project within community, and its goals are to support the businesses in the neighborhood and keep money in the community, according to the OTCA’s website.