holiday business

Local Businesses and Vendors Work Through Dreary Weather Ahead of Christmas

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Wind combined with rain impacted a few businesses that were hoping to see a few more customers come through their doors ahead of the Christmas holiday.

Dzen Tree Farm in South Windsor is working to accommodate customer demand but their troubles to do so dates back to the summer.

"It's been an emotional roller coaster," said John Dzen, who owns the Dzen Tree Farm. "We've had three 100-year-floods this summer in the middle of the growing season."

The messy weather on Saturday didn't help attract customers, according to Dzen Tree Farm.

"Thirty-four and drizzle, it was just miserable," said Dzen. "The wind was whipping and it's just been a very raw day, all day and it definitely hurts sales."

The low temperatures combined with the wind made for a nasty recipe for businesses as they look to get a few more customers in their doors ahead of Christmas.

The up and down weather hasn't stopped the business from working to ensure all of their customers have a tree while also making it a memorable experience.

"For us, we're not a tree farm, we're a destination," said Dzen. "It's all about the outing and bringing the families out and that's really worked for us."

In Hartford, the Winterfair drew those far and near out to enjoy what the city has to offer.

Winterfair is encouraging the community to support local businesses and vendors in and around Hartford near Pratt and Trumbull streets.

"I think we have all the things you can find, art, festivities, any kind of live music that you want, so I think there's a little bit of everything in this city," said Ashley Benitz, who lives in Hartford.

Benitz also tells NBC Connecticut when she heard about the Winterfair's mission to encourage shoppers to support local businesses, she decided to drop by with her friends.

"I think now more than ever, now that we have the opportunity, people are getting vaccinated, I think everyone should get out," said Benitz.

Local vendors like the DonnyBrook Gallery tell us they appreciate the people who want to shop local.

"I think there's flavor in individual vendors and small businesses and they really need the support of people to be able to sustain and keep doing what they're doing," said LeAnna Putman, who owns, DonnyBrook Gallery. "It's so exciting to have the arts being promoted and brought to downtown Hartford and really just the idea of being out with people and being able to connect face-to-face."

Hartford's Winterfair has 23 market days and encourages those who may take advantage of the city's ice skating to take a trip to Pratt Street to support local businesses and vendors. The buildup of local support will lead to the city's annual New Year's Eve celebration.

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