Officials hope shoppers support Connellsville businesses this holiday season

| Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, 5:32 p.m.

It's Christmas shopping season. Shoppers are rushing to malls or nearby retail stores searching for those perfect gifts.

What about the local small town businesses? Are we forgetting them?

“With the holidays upon us, it's a great time to start thinking about buying local. It's up to us to support our local, small businesses and communities and buying local ensures that the money spent at these businesses will be reinvested back into our communities,” said Robert C. Junk Jr., local economy manager at Fay-Penn Economic Development Council.

Connellsville officials and business owners are hoping shoppers won't forget what they have to offer.

Chamber and Downtown Connellsville officials say Connellsville has dozens of places to shop for unique gifts, gift cards or gift certificates.

There's hair and nail salons, restaurants and pizza shops. There's crafts stores, travel agencies (like Travelogics or Fay West Travel) — and more. And if it's a service-oriented business, it has gift cards available.

Among Connellsville businesses offering gift cards for their services are Bud Murphy's, Rock Starz, Dairy Queen, Italian Oven, Pizza King, El Canelo, Paint Room, Lynn's, Double Dragon, Valley Dairy, Domino's, New York Pizza and Pasta, Peanuts Pizza, Hometown Diner, Great Wall and Arch Cafe. Both West Side Lube and Tire and Schmitz Tire Service offer gift cards for oil changes. Bevy Groomers has gift certificates for pet grooming. Other businesses that offer gift cards include Stone and Co., Supermart of South Connellsville, South Side Grocer, Vona's, Pechin Deli and Faris Distributors.

Armstrong offers gift cards in amounts of $15, $50 and $75 that can be used toward their services. Nancy's Swim Spa offers gift certificates for water aerobics and water arthritis classes. Val Rumbaugh's Massage and Yoga studio offers gift certificates. The area gasoline stations and grocery stores offer gift cards as well.

“Supporting local businesses is an important part of having an economically healthy community. When consumers buy from a local business, the business owner is able to give back to the local economy through employment, government revenues and charitable giving. I encourage everyone to visit at least one local business a week and spend at least $25. This can really make a difference to the local economy if everyone would participate,” said Michael Edwards of Downtown Connellsville.

“I believe it's crucial for residents to take advantage of local and downtown shopping for the economic growth and development of the community. It's a very good practice, not only during the holidays, but throughout the year. Maybe if we all try a little harder, more businesses might want to move into the downtown area,” said Ronn Hall, office manager of The Greater Connellsville Chamber of Commerce.

At Hunter Pharmacy and Goin' Postal in Martin's Plaza, there are unique gifts including Willow Tree statuettes, specialty teas from the Republic of Teas, heirloom silver measuring spoons, stylish purses, frames, fashion walking canes, Melissa & Doug classic toys, Grandma's soaps, stuffed animals and beautiful greeting cards. Colebrook Chocolate Co. is also in that plaza with homemade candy and sweet treats.

Tom & Jerry's Medical Supply has gift ideas of the practical kind such as first-aid kits, and Animal House has anything needed for the pets in the family.

Nearby Games Gone Buy, Angles, Tees and Gifts and Trail Town Peddlers all have interesting ideas for giving.

All Season's Gift Shop has items with Connellsville written on them, an idea for someone far away from home. Mark Down Market has different things at different times including perfume, cologne and personal care products.

Lid'l Lyn's has dresses and suits for special occasions for the younger ones in the family. Jalyn's House of Collectibles is Connellsville's Vera Bradley stop and the place to buy home decor, candles and more. Women's scarves cost only $5.

Bikes Unlimited has good ideas for the biker, including a new or used bike. Spotto's has gifts for year-round fun: rafts, hunting gear, music equipment and much more. West Side News sells the very popular gift of lottery tickets.

While on the West Side, West Side Jewelry, West Side Boutique and Dancer's Corner have something for everyone with unique items. LaBoheme has crystal jewelry, glassware and one-of-a-kind gifts. The prices for earrings at La Boheme start at $10. Spa Faces has built a successful business in a relaxing atmosphere with many services and gift baskets that include items for pampering. It also carries Zoya nail polish.

The Book Case has thousands of nearly new books. The Coocoo's Nest in Village Plaza has gift items and holiday decor. Graphic Images has ideas to help Santa out, too. Nickman's has perfume, cologne and novelties of all kinds.

Trendy Trades is the place to go for hoodies, T-shirts and jeans that kids and teenagers are looking for under the tree.

Fast Cash is a variety store with merchandise of all kinds, sporting goods, furniture, electronics, jewelry and more. T&A House of Treasures, new to Connellsville, has furniture, silver tea sets, beautiful china and dinnerware and items from estate sales. Hobbys n' Stuff offers clock mechanisms, coin collector supplies, remote control cars, helicopters and trains. Pat's Bridal has special occasion dresses and accessories to add glitz and style to the holiday. ArtWorks Connellsville has candles, pottery, paintings, handmade jewelry, one-of-a-kind art and creations by more than 80 local artisans. A subscription to Connellsville Crossroads magazine is available there.

Salvatore's Sewing Center has sewing machines and notions and a wide selection of fabric. Atkins Music Center sells guitars, banjos, sheet music and plenty of other music related items. Kathryn's Jewelry has a big, beautiful selection of jewelry gifts in gold and silver, diamonds and gem stones.

There are even special gifts to be found at Craig Appliance and Furniture and Mark IV.

Grasso Greenhouses and DeMuth Florist offer floral gifts.

Even the gift of health is available. A membership to the John P. Murtha Wellness Center at Highlands Hospital is available. The Carnegie Free Library has keepsake ornaments, the paranormal DVD and other ideas.

Donations in honor of the person who has everything are being accepted at the library as well as the Yough River Trail Council, Fayette County Cultural Trust, Connellsville Community Center or Community Ministries.

Nancy Henry is a freelance writer.

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