This was an idea created to allow local business the opportunity to get out in the public and sell their products, after the long pause due to COVID-19.
“We’re just trying to drive some traffic downtown, get people walking, get them out on the street a little bit. We want them to get some fresh air and enjoy the exercise, and support the local business that are down here,” said Executive Director Tim Liebrecht. “The community has been pretty positive overall, and it’s encouraging to see people are excited that there’s actually something happening and something going on. You know, creating a ‘covid proof’ event is one of those things that we’ve been trying to figure out how to do, and it seems like we’ve done it today.”
COVID-19 has made it more difficult for small business to reach out to large groups because of so many event cancellations. Stephen and Emily Howe are from Clarksburg and were set up in Veterans Square Saturday. They started beekeeping as a hobby and turned it into their own business that takes products straight from the hives and turns it into household items like candles, lip balm, and honey.
“It’s affected our sales, the majority of our sales come from festivals and fairs,” said Stephen Howe. “Our online sales have picked up since not everybody has been able to get out and shop, and we do have the shop on Etsy and Facebook, so social media has played a big part of our marketing since COVID has happened. But, it’s good to be back and out in the community and sell to people face to face.”
Every vendor on Saturday was a locally owned business from north central West Virginia. In weeks to come, Liebrecht said he hopes to reach out to small businesses beyond the region, and see big growth with the event.
For more information on the event, and other events Main Street Fairmont has going on, visit their website.