Belleville business owners promoting each other to bring back shoppers

Illinois

BELLEVILLE, Ill.– A group of Belleville businesses is working together to promote each other during the pandemic.

A few female-owned businesses came together to form the Women’s Collective Group. These like-minded business owners are encouraging customers to check out each other’s stores.

“It’s really not about the girl power thing it’s that we’re all very similar and like-minded and we want something good for our community.  And what we realized are 80% of the business are owned by women,” said Renae Eicholz, co-owner of Copper Fire.

Eicholz and Conni Tilley, owner of Venue on Main, said they would brainstorm and bounce things off of each other constantly.

“If it wasn’t for her I don’t know where my frustrations would be.  We just talked to each other every day, how can we do this and open and what are the rules.  Cause it was difficult to understand because the rules changed every day,” Conni Tilley, owner Venue on Main said about Eicholz.

The pair wondered how they could do this with other business owners.

Magda Gilpin, owner of Grafted Wine Bar & Lounge said, “I think a lot is going on and although times are hard and have been hard new places are opening and restaurants.  People want to go out and enjoy themselves so yeah, we’ll be here.”

The group has added retail businesses and is using the upcoming Witches Brew Walk and Art on the Square in October to promote the different bars and restaurants.

There is also new lighting and streetscaping to entice people back down to Main Street.

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