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The Hudson Business Association is working collaboratively to bolster the vitality of Downtown Hudson.

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Wow – look what’s new in Hudson!
April 9, 2009 - Belying predictions about the local economy, new businesses bring excitement to downtown Hudson  
It’s springtime – so how about a stroll down Main Street? No longer does a walk through Hudson mean gazing into empty storefronts. Now your options include sipping a great cup of coffee at the recently re-opened Ariba Coffee, picking up a newspaper and a sandwich at Victoria Super Mini-Mart, and dropping off your spring clothes for a few quick alterations at Julia’s Alterations. Of course, favorite stops such as Serendipity, Hudson Appliance, Hudson Wine & Spirits and Harvest Café remain as busy as ever, rounding out the picture of a thriving downtown amidst the difficult economic times.
Silvino Cabral, property co-owner for some of the new businesses, expressed delight at the influx of new interest in downtown Hudson. Describing how seamstress Julia Santos made the decision to rent a space from him, he said recently that she was out of work and decided to fall back on an old talent to try making a living. “She sees it as one door closing and two opening,” Cabral commented. “I fixed up the space for her, painted it, and gave her a break on her first couple of months’ rent. Now she’s up and running.”
So is Victoria Super Mini-Mart, located in another one of Cabral’s properties. “They cater to the American and Brazilian populations alike, with a wonderful mix of prepared foods, cold cuts, and convenience items,” Cabral said.
Meanwhile, after being closed much of the winter, Ariba Coffee has opened its doors under new ownership and is happy to see a steady stream of customers in for a morning beverage or an afternoon snack. The Hudson Business Association’s “Support Hudson/Buy Local” campaign provides a colorful backdrop, with window-sized posters decorating downtown businesses and reminding shoppers of the importance of visiting their local merchants. “It’s a great time to start a business in Hudson,” commented Arthur Redding, president of the HBA and owner of Hudson Appliance. “Shoppers are here and ready to support new enterprises, and the Hudson Business Association can give business owners all kinds of support as they get up and running. We’re going to have a great springtime here!”

The Hudson Business Association is a group of merchants and business people dedicated to working collaboratively to bolster the vitality of Downtown Hudson by increasing foot traffic, marketing new businesses, promoting cultural resources and more. To learn more about this organization, including a look at past meeting minutes and future meeting schedules, go to www.hudsonbusinessassociation.com.



Buying local proves to be a winning pitch for downtown Hudson

April 9, 2009 - Drawing on everything from old-fashioned values to state-of-the-art social media, Hudson merchants prove that the economy can’t deter their “Buy Local” campaign  
Visitors to downtown Hudson can’t miss the fact that businesses in town are heavily immersed in a new “Buy Local” campaign, urging shoppers to support their friends and neighbors rather than chains and “big box” stores.
Oversized posters in many downtown windows remind passers-by of the many advantages of buying local: it keeps money flowing in the local economy; it saves energy consumption; it helps to preserve Hudson’s old-fashioned, downtown appeal. The posters themselves represent the work of local business Nashoba Blueprint, who helped Hudson Business Association marketing director DJ Collins design a set of Buy Local materials.
“Who wants to drive down the highway to a boring, anonymous big-box store when you could be patronizing a local merchant who has been serving you and your family for years?” pointed out Arthur Redding, owner of Hudson Appliance and president of the Hudson Business Association (HBA). “People prefer shopping locally. It’s more fun, less time-consuming and more personally rewarding, not to mention the fact that it’s so much better for the economy.”
Recently, the “buy local” campaign undertaken by the Hudson Business Association received a boost from a very modern-day source: the social media website Facebook. Less than a month after Kristin Gray-Lembo, owner of Beyond Real Estate and a member of the HBA, started up a Facebook group called “Support Hudson Buy Local,” the online group had attracted 160 members in a unique fusion of old-fashioned priorities – supporting local shops – and state-of-the-art technology.
“Setting up the Facebook page took a matter of minutes,” said Gray-Lembo, who usually advertises her own business through more traditional means such as print media. “Once it was up I sent it to my list of Facebook friends and asked them to please spread the word. Within 72 hours we had over 120 people log on as supporters. People are interested in knowing all the news about downtown. It works fast and it is free!”
Lori Burton used the Buy Local Facebook site to draw customers to a fundraising event she hosted at her downtown Hudson store, Serendipity. “Facebook gave my event the exposure that resulted in an additional 20 attendees,” Burton said, and added that most of them had not visited her store before. She sees it as a highly valuable tool for promoting not only the Buy Local message but information about businesses in general.
The Hudson Business Association is a group of merchants and business people dedicated to working collaboratively to bolster the vitality of Downtown Hudson by increasing foot traffic, marketing new businesses, promoting cultural resources and more. To learn more about this organization, including a look at past meeting minutes and future meeting schedules, go to www.hudsonbusinessassociation.com.

Buying from consignment stores: good for your wallet, good for the environment
April 1, 2009 - Still Life Home Consignment delivers home décor options that are sensible, affordable and beautiful
With over 5,000 square feet of furniture, accessories, housewares, textiles and other items for the home, Hudson’s newest addition to the home décor world offers shoppers a dazzling array of options. And best of all, when you buy from a consignment shop, you are obeying one of the primary tenets of green living: reusing previously owned goods rather than creating a need for new manufacturing.
Owner Johanna Higgins, who recently relocated to a beautifully renovated space at 68 Tower St., casts her own discerning eye on every item she accepts for resale. As a result, her shop looks far more like an upscale furniture emporium than a used-goods center. And shoppers benefit from the expertise of sales associates who are professionals in interior decorating. The results? Well, imagine if you walked into the home of the one friend whose taste you admire most when it comes to home décor – and she said you were welcome to go home with any piece you want. That’s what it’s like to shop at Still Life Home Consignment.
Higgins also welcomes consignors and is happy to talk with potential sellers about the goods they no longer have a place for in their home. To learn more about the shop, go to www.stilllifeconsignmentshop.com.

Hudson Business Association survey reveals that shoppers want more options downtown
March 11, 2009 - Hudson residents express willingness to spend money on good food, books, crafts, entertainment and more 
Over one hundred Hudson residents and visitors took time over the past six months to fill out a survey distributed by the Hudson Business Association (HBA). The results? People would happily do more shopping and dining out if they were given more options.
Asked to write in what kinds of new businesses they would like to see downtown, respondents listed everything from bagel shops and bookstores to craft shops, clothing boutiques and high-end food markets.
In fact, it is hard to think of a business that Hudson shoppers say they would not welcome to town. Antique stores, movie theaters, arcades, ethnic restaurants -- including Japanese, Thai and Mexican -- ice cream parlors and "green" product shops all made the list.
Of the 111 respondents, 90 are Hudson residents; the rest come from neighboring towns. Asked how often they visit the downtown, the majority responded "Weekly." The vast majority listed a household income over $75,000.
Visitors to the downtown not only want more retail options; they have a variety of opinions about the aesthetics of the shopping district. Landscaping, renovations to downtown buildings and recent clean-up efforts received plaudits, but there were also requests for more control over messy-looking storefronts.
And the biggest factor that controls people's willingness to visit the downtown area? Parking. Despite the re-construction of the downtown parking lot last year, survey respondents complain that traffic is too heavy and parking too rare.
"This survey was enormously valuable in terms of our mission to increase visitors to downtown businesses and fill vacant spaces," commented Hudson Business Association president Arthur Redding. "It is much easier for our group as well as brokers and property owners to approach potential tenants now that we have so much excellent data on what people want. Given the comments on the survey, if I were someone interested in opening a bakery, a crafts store, a paper store or any of a number of other businesses, I'd rush to see what downtown spaces were available to me. What we've discovered is that the shoppers are here already: they just want more goods they consider worth buying."
The Hudson Business Association is a group of merchants and business people dedicated to working collaboratively to bolster the vitality of Downtown Hudson by increasing foot traffic, marketing new businesses, promoting cultural resources and more. To learn more about this organization, including a look at past meeting minutes and future meeting schedules, go to www.hudsonbusinessassociation.com.

Downtown Hudson businesses see holiday retail dreams realized
The Holiday Stroll was only the first step in a surprisingly terrific holiday season 
January 14, 2009 - Lori Burton’s expectations were low going into her fourth holiday shopping season as a downtown Hudson merchant. The proprietor of Serendipity assumed that the faltering economy would hurt sales – especially sales of non-essential gift items such as the decorative handicrafts and jewelry offered in her store.
“Miraculously, I had a very good holiday season,” she commented recently. Beginning with the Holiday Stroll in early December and continuing right up to New Year’s, “My sales this past season were exactly on par with last year’s.”
It’s not that Burton’s customers seemed oblivious to the economy, she explained. But rather than keeping them out of her store altogether, the downturn seems to have made better shoppers out of them. “I noticed people being more thoughtful about their purchases and maybe buying less expensive items, but in the end it was the same number of customers and the same amount in sales,” she said. “I’m really very grateful.”
A few doors away from Serendipity, Lee Dinner, manager of Wright’s Jewelers, noticed a similar trend. In the end, he said, his sales numbers might have been down slightly had he not offered customers the option of selling him their scrap silver and gold. The chance to get rid of unwanted pieces drew people into the store – and they stayed to shop.
Another factor Dinner points to is the pre-Christmas series of snowstorms. Repeating advice he learned decades ago from his father, who previously managed the same jewelry store, he said that “Snowstorms keep people shopping close to home.” They don’t want to head to the highway and drive to a mall in a snowstorm if they can instead make a quick stop downtown.
Brian Young, owner of Hudson Wine & Spirits, benefited from the bad weather as well. When the electricity went off downtown, he parked a van outside his shop with signs on the front and back saying “OPEN” and arrows pointing to his shop. The result? Shoppers from miles away heard that he was open despite the storm and made their way to Hudson.
At Hudson Appliance, Arthur Redding is no stranger to the value of a good snowstorm. For him, it’s no surprise that customers arrive in droves when the weather turns inclement: they need everything from ice scrapers to generators. But because of the timing, with two big snowstorms the week before Christmas, many of his shoppers who came for essentials did some holiday shopping at the same time – or let other members of their family shop downtown for gifts while they perused the hardware store.As the president of the Hudson Business Association as well as owner of Hudson Appliance, Redding was thrilled to note the success of the holiday shopping season for Hudson merchants. “That’s exactly what we were trying to accomplish with our ‘Buy Local’ campaign,” he commented. “The goal was to get people to come downtown instead of going to the mall. From what my downtown neighbors are telling me, we succeeded. And the weather was a bonus in our favor!”

Hudson Business Association promotes “Buy local” initiative
With successful Holiday Stroll, Hudson kicks off a campaign urging residents to shop locally 
December 6, 2008 - With its downtown brimming with boutiques, specialty shops and traditional stores, the town of Hudson poses a perfect location for holiday shoppers to park once and get through their whole gift list. And the Hudson Business Association (HBA) wants to be sure that residents understand the value of supporting local merchants.
Beginning with last Friday’s successful Hudson Holiday Stroll, at which approximately 5,000 participants enjoyed activities for children, a petting zoo, live music, shops staying open late, and a visit from Santa, the HBA is kicking off a new campaign to urge residents to shop locally.
“Why spend money on gas, struggle with traffic, and then deal with parking hassles at the shopping malls – only to go inside and face a row of chain stores you could find anywhere and people you don’t know – when you could be experiencing the old-fashioned ambience of browsing along Main Street?” asked Arthur Redding, president of the Hudson Business Association. “Shopping at locally owned stores in your hometown puts your money back into your own economy – where it is needed most.”
Moreover, there’s something comfortingly quaint about shopping downtown during the holiday season -- the welcoming shop owners greeting you, the familiar faces of friends and neighbors – that no mall or shopping plaza can replicate. By finding a parking space on Main Street or in the new town lot, you can breeze through your gift list – decorative treasures from Serendipity; jewelry from Lottie Ta Dah or Wright Jewelry; household items at Hudson Appliance; gift certificates at Sofia’s, Chloe’s or any of Hudson’s other excellent restaurants – while enjoying fresh air and exercise. It’s also a time-saver, as Redding pointed out: “Spend time in the shops rather than in traffic.”
Last week’s Holiday Stroll saw children and adults out in droves, taking in the festively decorated storefronts and an array of offerings to sample or buy. The Hudson Business Association hopes that with this auspicious start to the holiday season, people will head to Main Street rather than the highway as they continue preparing to celebrate the holidays.