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Holiday season heating up for local Pocatello businesses

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) - It is one week before Christmas Day and many businesses in Historic Downtown Pocatello are gearing up for people to get their last minute shopping done. 

At Gate City Coffee, it's a great way for them to get people in the door.

"It's really one of the best weeks of the year for us every year," said owner Bill Kelvie. "We've only been open a year and a half, but we've figured out that this is when people come downtown and they really spend a lot of time downtown shopping locally."

Kelvie says in the time they have been open, they have been become a fan favorite with Idaho State students, and despite the semester being over, Kelvie says he isn't worried.

"This time of year when the students are on Christmas break, there's a lot of them that stay home that have to study over the Christmas break," Kelvie said. "So we still see a lot of them. They're pretty consistent."

Kelvie says their gift selection is exclusively made by local artists, hoping to showcase the talent in the Gate City.

"What people can expect when they come down to Gate City Coffee is a really unique, different, not a box store gift," Kelvie said.

You can also find locally made merchandise at The Elwen Cottage, a place that depends on this time of year to help expand their business.

"During the week before the holidays, it's always super fun and very busy," said owner Wendy Vaughn. "We get a lot of families that have families coming in from out of town, so we meet a lot of new guests and that's always nice. And we also have those special, unique, one of a kind items that nobody else can find at a big box store online."

Coming up on their 10th year anniversary, Vaughn says learning what the people want is what matters most.

"I think for us it has been consistency and being open to listening to our community, what they're looking for in products that they can't find elsewhere, and trying to make those products available at a cost that they can afford locally in the community," Vaughn said.

For Kelvie, the message is clear for this time of year, shop local.

"The big box stores will be just fine," Kelvie said. "Small businesses depend on you. Small businesses really, really need you and it's a win-win situation for everybody. So keep your money local."

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Cole Sams

Cole is a reporter for Local News 8.


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