The following businesses participated in the three-week promotion:
• $20 & Below Accessories
• Coastal Courier
• Colonial Bridal
• Diva Essentials
• Enchanted Creations Home Décor & Gifts
• Thomas Hill Jewelers
• Joy Marie’s & The Frame Gallery
• Jungle Jake’s
• The Heritage Bank (main office)
• TOP Christian Book Store
• Uncommon Grounds
• VIP Office Furniture & Supply
Christmas came early for Charlene Parlett of Hinesville, whose name was drawn as the grand prize winner of a $500 downtown shopping spree courtesy of the Hinesville Downtown Development Authority. The drawing concluded a three-week promotion.
Not only does Parlett shop local, she and her husband Andrew own a downtown business, Southeast Auto Service at 104 Carter St.
“I am really excited to win, especially because these are all great businesses in our own downtown area, each with its own unique style,” Parlett said. “Almost everything I want or need can be found right here in Hinesville, and I get really great customer service because it’s the owners themselves taking care of me most of the time and they want lifelong customers.”
During the three-week promotion, more than 1,000 entries were collected by participating businesses. Parlett visited six of the 12 locations during the promotion, but she’s not sure where she submitted the winning entry.
“The first step in developing a loyal customer relationship is getting them into the store and familiar with your merchandise,” said Vivian Smith, owner of $20 & Below Accessories, who participated in the promotion. Smith said she welcomed numerous first-time guests during the contest and said nearly everyone who visits her shop for the first time is pleasantly surprised.
Parlett accepted 25 $20 vouchers from the Hinesville Downtown Development Authority Board at its recent meeting.
“This promotion gives us an opportunity to encourage support of our locally owned businesses and thusly, support Hinesville through keeping the tax revenue in our community,” HDDA Chairman Donald Lovette said.
Parlett praised the HDDA board and its efforts to revitalize Hinesville’s downtown district. “Downtown has come a long way. If people take the time to stroll around and enjoy an afternoon of wandering in the downtown area, they will be pleasantly surprised at the hidden gems they will find. I hope to see every vacant building and lot filled within the next few years as the downtown redevelopment continues. We need to support the businesses that have decided to plunge in ahead of the crowds and keep them prospering through this transition period,” she said. “There is so much to choose from, I don’t know where to start using my spree money.”