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Small businesses use cross-promotion to help each other out

The concept is pretty simple: We're stronger together. In Hopkins some small businesses are doing their best to make sure they all survive.

HOPKINS, Minn. — If you own a business, you've learned a lot in the last year. And one thing small businesses have learned, is that leaning on each other makes you stronger.

"Supporting each other is lifting all of us up, right?” says Ali Hanson, owner of the Vine Room and the Vine Shop in Hopkins, Minnesota.

The cute wine bar and shop had just expanded before the pandemic hit and closed everything down. They were able to keep everyone on staff and are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And, they know their neighbors are in the same space, so they’ve tried something new. Cross-promoting each other.

“It’s a business, but really this community is family, and everyone is very authentically looking out for each other,” says Hanson.

Take Valentine’s weekend for example. The Vine Room has a special charcuterie board that features another staple on Mainstreet.

“We’ve got Amy’s Cupcake Shoppe across the street, so we’ve done lots of fun pairings with them. We’re featuring their macaroons on our Valentine’s board this weekend,” says Hanson.

Next to the Vine Room, new neighbors moved in: MinnyRow Market.

"We focus on all Minnesota goods, as much as possible," says owner Dana Smith.

In fact, the small-scale grocer's whole concept is partnering with other small local businesses. From the products on their shelves to the fresh flowers in store, and the meal kits they design each week. They even have a special Valentine’s Day Meal Kit.

“We've partnered with people around town to have their products and also partnered with our neighbors at the Vine Shop to create a complete experience with wine pairings for those meals,” says co-owner Peter Smith.

The cross-promotion has become particularly important in this last year.
The idea being we're stronger together. So, stepping inside one store in town, means you're supporting all the stores in town, because they support each other.

“That's been fun to see people in the community coming together to support multiple businesses, and families, ultimately at the end of day,” says Hanson.

And if you’re still looking for ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day, you can pre-order your charcuterie board with the Vine Room, or just stop in on Friday or Saturday.

MinnyRow’s Valentine’s meal kits can be ordered ahead online too.

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