Albion businesses will stay open for extended hours on Thursdays

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 September 2013 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – Gertie Albano, owner of Gertie’s Groovy Garments on East Bank Street in Albion, is among several businesses that are staying open until 7 p.m. on Thursdays. The businesses had their first extended hours Thursday today.

ALBION – A group of Albion businesses are now offering extended hours on Thursdays to give more local residents the chance to buy from hometown merchants.

Today was the debut of extended hours Thursday, when several businesses agreed to stay open until 7 p.m.

“We need some more life in the downtown,” said Maureen Bennett, one of 15 vendors at the Downtown Browsery. She helped recruit businesses to stay open past 5 p.m. on Thursdays.

“With later hours more locals can see what we have and won’t have to shop out of town,” said Bennett, who sells antiques and collectibles at the Browsery.

Other participating businesses include Gertie’s Groovy Garments, Bindings Bookstore, Viola’s Boutique, Hazy Jade, Clothesline, Knight’s Pride, Xpress Fitness and Ace Hardware. Bennett said more merchants are welcome to stay open until 7.

The Downtown Browsery includes 15 vendors on East Bank Street., including, from left: Linda Hollenbeck, antiques and collectibles; Susie Gaylard, hand-crafted purses; and Maureen Bennett, antiques and collectibles.

“It’s a good step forward,” said Carolyn Ricker, owners of Bindings. “It assures people there will be more than one business open for the extended hours.”

Ricker is president of the Albion Merchants Association. Business owners are working together planning several upcoming events.

Gertie Albano, owner of the Gertie’s Groovy Garments, praised the camaraderie among the merchants, who are working to create a shopping destination in the downtown.

“We all believe in shopping local and how it benefits the community because more of the money stays in the local economy,” she said.