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SHOP LOCAL: Downtown Bryan stores looking for community support during pandemic

Downtown Bryan Association is highlighting businesses through its Shop Downtown Bryan Week. The week-long event showcases local shops that are providing specials.

BRYAN, Texas — With the effects of the pandemic slowing down local business, it is more important than ever to shop locally. That is why the Downtown Bryan Association is putting on its first Shop Downtown Bryan Week.

Barbara Peevey and Debbie Jasek are no strangers to Downtown Bryan. The two own Brazos Glassworks, which has been located right off of 26th Street for 14 years.

"We sell all of the stained glass, used glass, mosaic glass, all the supplies you need for doing hobbies," said Jasek. 

The co-owners said their local business grew steadily throughout the years. However, it all changed when the coronavirus pandemic hit and slowed down their customer traffic.

“About a year and a half ago we started on the internet selling supplies," Jasek said. "We have an Etsy shop that has quite literally saved us during this lockdown.” 

Their online sales are reaching people all over the country, but in-person sales have not been picking up as much. 

Jasek describes Brazos Glassworks as a destination store that would bring out a lot of out of town guests. Typically, the store would get visits all days of the week, but now its become mostly only on the weekends.

“The majority of our customers are coming from Houston, Austin and Dallas," Jasek said. 

To help local stores like Brazos Glassworks, the Downtown Bryan Association is highlighting businesses through its Shop Downtown Bryan Week. The week-long event showcases local shops that are providing deals and specials. 

“When you shop downtown or any local B/CS store, your dollar spent there helps those small business owners support their own family and the circle just keeps going," said Abigail Noel, the marketing director with the Downtown Bryan Association. 

For Peevey and Jasek, having their neighbors support their business means a lot. They said when the time comes, it allows them to also give back. 

“It’s the local shops that support the little league, it’s the local shops that you go to when you want a fundraiser donated, it’s the local shops that support the economy and the community," Jasek said. "It's very important to support local businesses and small shop owners.”

Shop Downtown Bryan Week goes through Sunday, Aug. 16.