Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

June 14, 2013

OUR VIEW: Business in the city on the upswing

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — During the past few weeks, the pages of the US&J have brought you news about various businesses that have cropped up in the city. They are taking unique paths to get to this point, and we applaud them for their ingenuity. In many ways, each of them are examples of business and the community working together.

In Lowertown, Five Loaves Mini-Mart and the Lowertown Laundromat came about after owner Bart Adams did something that should be done more often: He talked with the neighbors and listened to their needs. Without public transportation rolling through Lowertown, residents had to either walk uphill to reach stores and laundry facilities, or arrange transportation. He was convinced when he saw elderly and young mothers alike pushing grocery carts and strollers uphill.

Adams, his daughter and son-in-law, who are running the store and laundromat, plan to continue listening to their neighbors and customers. They have a a list posted at the checkout counter so that customers may name items they’d like to see sold at the store.

Another ingenious group of entrepreneurs combined their three individual practices to create the Green Street Wellness Center & Spa. The facility is the new home of Western New York AcuHealth, Inner Beauty Skincare and Serene Mountain Massage. The first two relocated form Newfane, the third from the Bewley Building.

Why did they join forces? For one thing, they were referring clients to each other, so in a way they were already cross-promoting. They also saw Lockport as an opportunity, believing the city needed a wellness center and looking at the city as a central location for their clientele.

Another emerging business is recycling centers; places where customers may bring bottles and cans where they are collected and sorted efficiently and the customer walks out with cash in hand, without standing in line at local supermarkets. The owners of Good Neighbor Redemption Center, located at 227 Walnut Street across from Harrison Place, saw something similar to what Bart Adams saw in Lowertown: a need. Good Neighbor is also giving its customers an opportunity to donate their cash to several local charities if they wish.

Then there’s Lake Effect Artisan Ice Cream, which moved about a block form its original location to a much more customer-friendly location: Canal Street, next to the locks. Greater visibility, especially for the tourists. Plus, they’re branching out, securing shelf space in a handful of Tops markets and other Western New York locations.

Be it recognizing a need, filling a void, cross-promoting listening to customers or branching out these businesses all deserve a round of applause for their unique views and solutions to problems.