This past weekend the second annual Summer Soiree was held in downtown Greensburg. Businesses held once-a-year sales, Revival, a new store on Main Street opened, and there was a movie on the lawn at the 5.4.7. Arts Center.
In its second year, the soiree was more than just happenstance, it was an event organized by an unofficial group of Main Street businesses taking event organization into their own hands.
“About the time everyone got moved in on Main Street we felt like we needed more events in town to help the businesses,” said Where’d Ya Find That Antiques owner Erica Goodman, a Main Street merchant located in the historic Robinett building. “We started meeting and the first thing we did was Holiday Open Houses in 2010.”
The loosely organized group of merchants which goes by the unassuming name “merchants group” has organized four events the past two years, the Holiday Open Houses, a Christmas sale weekend that coincided with the Holiday Home Tours and the Summer Soiree, a late summer event that last year included the countywide yard sale.
“We don’t have bylaws, we meet strictly to create events and bring business to town,” said Goodman, commenting on the unofficial nature of the group. “We pool our money and market the event that way. We think it’s better to do it that way, instead of each individual business having to do their own marketing themselves, we do it as a group.”
There are no t-shirts, no logos, no board of directors and no shared back accounts, only business owners who are working together to bring business to Main Street.
“We’ve all been thinking that there should be an event every month within the county to bring people here to shop,” said Goodman. “We’ve been doing our part to make that happen. Last year’s soirée was great, but some businesses only had an average day. I think it depends on what they are offering, sales and specials.”
Goodman estimated that businesses brought in about $10,000 in sales at last year’s soiree and the yard sales brought in about another $10,000 to county residents.
“We felt that the Kiowa County Chamber of Commerce typically would be responsible to do events like these, but for whatever reason, probably financial, they are unable to do them. We decided to do it ourselves.”