Stores closing in the mall bad news for local business?

This wasn’t a good week for the Wausau Center Mall. Three stores, including an anchor, announced that they would be closing. As an advocate of local business, you’d think I would cheer hurray! In reality this could be very bad news for locally owned and independet business. I have long felt that building the mall downtown was the best thing that the city ever did to revitalize the downtown area. It created the magnet that resulted in 30 years of downtown growth and development.

Wausau-Center-at-nightStores always come and go,we’ve seen quite a bit of change in the mall landscape over those last 30 years. Unfortunately there are two things that are not in the mall’s favor: national retailers are still feeling the sting of a weak economy and demographics areshifting away from the centralized shopping experience. But what does this mean to local businesses? Stagnation of the mall would negatively impact all downtown business and national retailers do have an impact on our economy. It’s a symbiotic relationship, downtown business needs the mall and everybody thrives by the traffic the mall generates. Hopefully these events are only a bump in the road to continued economic development and new retailers will be found. The Wausau Center is still a jewel of the community and our strong downtown should be a excellent attractor for new business.

Business Member News

Does your business have a website? I sure hope that it does. Is your site up to date? How many visitors are your getting? Is is helping generate traffic to your business? I believe that every business should have a well functioning site. That’s why I offer a complimentary website analysis and will give you 5 or more simple solutions on how you can increase your traffic and Internet visibility. Contact me today to set up a no obligation consult.

Northstar Cleaning and Restoration

Those icicles hanging from the edge of your roofline may look pretty, but they are a sign of a potential problem called ice dams. An ice dam happens when snow on your roof melts and the liquid refreezes at the roof line. This process can force ice underneath your shingles, causing roof leaks and water damage. But these dams are preventable by shoveling or raking the snow off your roof. Northstar Cleaning and Restoration reminds you to take care of this small problem, before it becomes a big problem inside your house.

Get Smart Wausau: Financial Wellness Conference

The Financial Wellness Conference is set up for January 18th at John Muir Middle School. The Get Smart Wausau Coalition will have plenty of great displays and seminars to help you make smarter financial decisions. Conference runs from 9am-2:30pm with registration open at 8:30am. Admission is $4.00 for adults which includes meals and a free copy of your credit report. Check out the full conference at the Get Smart Wausau Coalition FB page.

Speaking of financial wellness, many people are shredding their paper in order to protect themselves from potential identity theft. The Village of Weston wishes to remind their residents that shredded paper is recyclable; however, if dumped loosely within their recycling cart, it may get blown out into the community when being transferred from the recycling cart into the recycling truck. With the new Single Stream Recycling system in the Village, the use of plastic bags to contain their shredded paper within their recycling cart is discouraged, as plastic bags are not allowed to be placed in the recycling carts. Advanced Disposal encourages people to bring their shredded paper directly to their Recycling Center, on Fuller Street, and dispose of their shredded paper within the paper recycling dumpster. If you have further questions on this, please contact their office directly at 715-359-6637.

Haven Tax and Financial

Now that the holidays are past us, we can turn our attention to everyone’s favorite activity: taxes. Fortunately Haven Tax and Accounting is ‘Making it Easy’ Need W-2′s and 1099′s? Get them done for only $25 each. Haven will also do personal and business tax returns (individuals starting at only $75). Haven Tax and Accounting. . .

The Wedding Store

Inventory Clearance continues! All mom dresses, ring bearer pillows, garters, unity candles, candle wraps, handkerchiefs, select novelty items, and select consignment items 50% off! Receive 24 heart shape floating candles FREE with every $25.00 spent!Receive your choice of necklace and earring set FREE with the purchase of a wedding dress! The Wedding Store. . .

Abby Bank

The Abbotsford Story, Inc., AbbyBank‘s foundation, is pleased to announce a $30,000 donation to the Stable Hands Therapeutic Riding to proceed with building an indoor arena to offer more equine-assisted therapy sessions. Diane Abitz, Executive Director of Stable Hands Equine Therapy Center says, “When we started in 1992, we only served 25 people per year while operating in borrowed space and limited operational time. When this project is complete, we will be able to work with approximately 80-100 students per week and operate year-round. We are very appreciative of AbbyBank and all of our public and private donors who have allowed us to complete this phase of our project.”

Thank you Stable Hands for helping local people with your expertise in equine therapy!! We look forward to seeing the project start in May.

Local Jobs

SC Swiderski Property Management is looking for a Painter/Cleaner and a Grounds Coordinator for their growing portfolios of properties. These are full time positions and pay is based on experience. For details, visit their website. . . 

Jalapeno’s Mexican Grill and Bar is looking for musicians to play at their next and future Cinco de Drink-O events. Cinco de Drink-O is celebrated on the 5th of the month at Jalepeno’s. Please contact them by phone at 715-842-9206 if you are interested!Jalapeno’s Mexican Grill and Bar. . .

If your business has a job opening, email the details or website link to michaelmartens@relylocal.com by Wednesday afternoon for inclusion in this weekly newsletter.

Local Business Roundtable

Local-Business-Roundtable-Dec2013-Mandy-WrightOur Local Business Roundtable is the runaway networking hit of 2013. In fact, you never know who may show up at our next event. Help us continue the success by joing our next event on Thursday, January 23rd, 7:30am at the Wausau Entrepreneurial and Education Center. Roundtable topic will be about to how to demonstrate value to price conscious consumers. Hope to see you then. Details on the Buy Local Wausau Blog. . .

Closing Thoughts

This week’s snow got me thinking as I was shoveling my sidewalk and drive. The snowbanks on the city streets are getting higher and higher, and many of the corner fire hydrants are getting buried. Please adopt a neighborhood hydrant and make sure that it is clear of snow. An emergency situation is not the time to be digging around to find a hydrant.

Have a great weekend and keep it local, my friends.