Business news — Wednesday Walkabout sees low attendance, but beneficial to merchants

The Wednesday Walkabout isn’t a new event, but Mike Ragsdale, Newberg Downtown Coalition executive director, said the hope is it can expand.

“We’ve had a good amount of merchants interested in doing it, but we get a small attendance,” Ragsdale said. “We get four or five people. So it’s OK but not, ‘Oh wow this is really special.’”

Wednesday Walkabout is an event put on by the NDC for downtown merchants.

“The concept of Wednesday Walkabout is to have merchants visit with merchants, so when they’ve got a customer in their store and they say, ‘Hey, do you know where I can get …,’ they know the full details of what their colleagues on the street have to offer so we can do a referral,” he said.

So far, it’s been beneficial, despite the low attendance.

“A good example is going into Janis Jewelry. She carries stuff no one had any idea about,” Ragsdale said. “Then going into Bonaventura and finding out they make their own sausage, it just helps spread the word.”

Although the event is designed for merchants, and the public has never been formally invited to attend, Ragsdale said anyone interested is more than welcome to join in. The Walkabout occurs once a month on Wednesday mornings. Ragsdale said Angie Stevens, marketing director for American Family Insurance, selects which business will be featured that month.

“The selection is sort of random. We have been going to businesses that have recently moved to the downtown area. However, we would like to focus on some longer term businesses starting the first of the year,” Stevens said.

The most recent Walkabout was at the new First Street location of Velour on Nov. 20.

For more information about the NDC and its programs, visit www.newbergdown

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