Ypsilanti Citizen Community Sidetrack

Volunteers prepare for Ypsi PRIDE Day
By Mark Tower
May. 13, 2010   ·   7:09 a.m.

Volunteers and W.H. Canon employees plant flowers in Depot Town while Ypsilanti resident Mike Labadie repairs the planter's brick work on Ypsi PRIDE Day last year.

Each year, residents in and around the city of Ypsilanti carry on a tradition started by a group of community members enrolled in a city leadership program, a sort...read more

Bicycles zoom as flowers bloom
By Citizen staff
Apr. 30, 2010   ·   2:11 p.m.

Riders from last year's spring ride come in after a long trip. Bike Ypsi’s 2010 Spring Ride and Festival is from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sunday at Recreation Park (1015 Congress Street).

The weather has turned, the trees are budding and the flowers are popping out of the ground; time for a cruise through town. But don’t be so quick to hop in the...read more

Sheriff Clayton visits Ypsilanti Township
By Mark Tower
Apr. 29, 2010   ·   12:59 p.m.

Ypsilanti Township resident Kathleen Hanadel takes notes as her and other residents attempt to asses WCSO services Tuesday evening at a community forum held at the township's community center.

About 50 Ypsilanti Township residents gave the Washtenaw County Sheriff Office their input about law enforcement in the community Tuesday evening.

The information...read more

Local photographer raising funds for Ypsi Project exhibit
By Adrienne Ziegler
Apr. 20, 2010   ·   2:20 a.m.

Ypsilanti resident Nicholas Beltsos his grandson Demetrios were photographed by Project Ypsi photographer Erica Hampton during a bike ride she took Monday. A former EMU economics professor, Beltsos and his family moved to Ypsi from Dearborn in 1967.

Ypsilanti has many faces, and Erica Hampton wants to share a few of them with you.

Over the past year, Hampton created the The Ypsi Project, a series of portraits...read more

Savoy taking shape as live music venue
By Dan DuChene
Apr. 17, 2010   ·   2:38 p.m.

Local funk band Third Coast Kings play in Ypsilanti's newest live music venue, Savoy, Friday night.

Ypsilanti's newest concert venue is preparing for its grand opening weekend April 23, more than a month after its soft opening March 13.

Formerly Club Divine,...read more

Buy local for the holidays

The Shop Ypsi brochure, shown above, is scheduled to be distributed around town sometime this weekend. Photo by Shop Ypsi

The Shop Ypsi brochure, shown above, is scheduled to be distributed around town sometime this weekend.
Dr. Kimberly A. Rice DDS

Initiative encourages keeping dollars in community

By Christine Laughren
Dec. 3, 2008    ·    4:19 p.m.

Earlier this week the National Bureau of Economic Research announced the United States is officially in the midst of a recession. And according to Linette Lao, an organizer of Shop Ypsi, the economic downturn is all the more reason to shop local.

“It's especially vital to be conscious of where we spend our money, and why,” Lao said.

Shop Ypsi, now in its second year, is a local initiative created to encourage the community to buy local for the holidays. Ypsilanti resident Mark Maynard, who also helped get the initiative off the ground, said the idea came three years ago when Ypsi Votes held a community forum on downtown business.

“A friend named Karen Conneely was in the audience, and she came out of it determined to create a brochure encouraging people to buy local for the holidays,” Maynard said. “She left town the following year, and Linette and I wanted to keep it going.”

Lao kept the initiative going this year with the help of several volunteers. She said much of the groundwork was done last year, so not much had to be done this season.

Jim Karnopp, owner of Café Luwak, designed the Web site. Local organizations, such as the Downtown and Depot Town Development Authorities and the Visitors and Convention Bureau contributed to the printing costs of the brochures.

Maynard said Shop Ypsi does a better job each year of distributing brochures to the community. He said from what feedback he has gotten the initiative is working.

“Every year we hear from store owners that say they've seen people coming into their stores with the brochures, and every year we get letters from neighbors who say that it had never occurred to them to keep their dollars local,” Maynard said. “So it's encouraging.”

Shiela Miller, owner of Simply deVine in Downtown Ypsilanti, said without the support of the community small businesses like hers would not survive. She said she couldn’t stress enough the importance of shopping local.

“The reason why shopping local is so critical is because the survival of the business community is directly related to the survival of homeowners,” Miller said. “It is important to keep the dollars flowing in this community.”

Maynard had the same sentiments. He said local business owners invest in the community in ways “big box retailers” never would.

“Money spent at WalMart doesn't stay here in the community,” Maynard said. “Money spent at the (Ypsilanti Food) Co-Op, however, does.”

“We need a diverse, vibrant infrastructure of locally owned and operated businesses if we want Ypsi to be successful,” he said

Let the shopping begin

Ypsilanti residents will have plenty of opportunities for shopping local in the coming weeks.

This Friday and Saturday patrons can do some late night shopping at select stores and restaurants in Downtown and Depot Town during the Starlight Spree.

Paul Balcom, co-owner of The Rocket on Michigan Avenue in Downtown Ypsilanti, helped organize the event this year.

Balcom said, though, some businesses had late night shopping last year, organizers tried to make it more of a special occasion this tome around, with carolers and special promotions. In fact, patrons can pick up a promotional packet with coupons and other information at participating stores during the Starlight Spree.

“This creates a synergy and a shopping experience not just a single destination for people to go to,” Balcom said. “If you are looking for unique, individual gifts that you might not be able to find at a strip mall, you can definitely find them here.”

The Rocket will have refreshments, a drawing for a $50 gift certificate and coupons, which are included in the promotional packet.

Another organizer of the Starlight Spree was Gail Kornbluth, owner of World of Rocks on Huron Street. Kornbluth said she got a lot of interest from business owners and expects many businesses will be open late for the event.

“It’s nice to have a late night shopping event,” she said. “Except for The Rocket there really aren’t a lot of stores that are open late.”

Kornbluth will also have a drawing at the end of the Starlight Spree. Four winners will be drawn in addition to the $3.00 off coupon she is offering.

What is That Gallery, Bowerbird Mongo, United Sonz Business Solutions, Ypsi Studio, Olde Towne Coin & Gold, Simply deVine and Beezy’s are just some of the other businesses offering promotions.

Miller said she is really looking forward to the Starlight Spree and helping create a comfortable, fun shopping atmosphere for patrons with personalized customer service.

“And good customer service is something that you just can’t buy,” she said.

For more information on Shop Ypsi visit www.ypsi.buylocalmichigan.com.

For more information regarding the Starlight Spree contact Gail at World of Rocks 734.481.9981

SESI Motors

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