ELLSWORTH, Maine — Businesses here took a hard hit two days before Christmas. Because of storms, then a days-long power outage, shops along Ellsworth’s main drag were closed or saw only a trickle of customers during what is usually one of the most lucrative times of the year.
“I think ‘devastating’ was the word that I used,” said George Elias, owner of Rooster Brother, a local kitchenware and speciality food store.
“We were going to have an up year but it turned it into a down year,” he added.
In response, local radio station WNSX 97.7 FM has organized a Christmas Do Over, in which stores will offer their holiday deals once again as a way to recoup some of the losses.
The radio station will set up shop from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Riverside Cafe and will allow businesses to come by, free of charge, to broadcast their sales. WNSX is asking business owners who want to participate to call the radio station at 667-0002 in order to be added to a schedule.
WNSX co-owner Natalie Knox said she’s encouraging businesses to offer their Christmas Do Over promotion for longer than just Saturday to allow customers time to take advantage of the sales.
Elias does not think the event will make up for all of his lost revenue, but it will help.
“This was incredibly hard for everybody,” he said, adding that the weather has forced residents to spend a significant amount to heat their homes, plow their driveways and, in some cases, spend a few nights in a motel.
“I think part of the spirit here is we are all in this together,” Elias said.
As of midweek, the stores participating in the Christmas Do Over event on Saturday are: The Bud Connection, The Grasshopper Shop, Pyramid Studios, Cleonice, Xi Photography, J & B Atlantic Co., Beals Jewelry, Second to None, Sand Castle, Riverside Cafe, Surry Girls, Karen’s Cafe, Union River Book & Toy Co. and Rooster Brother.