Business owners: Shop small in northeastern Pennsylvania


It’s called “Cabin Fever Frenzy,” and the goal is to encourage people to shop small during the month of February, typically a slow time of year for small businesses.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — When Mary Beck opened Central Station Marketplace antique shop in Scranton with her husband five years ago, she had two big goals: Connect with other small business owners in the area, and survive the three-year lease on the building she bought. 

She’s accomplished both, in large part thanks to a shopping challenge she cooked up called “Cabin Fever Frenzy.”

“The holidays are over with, and everybody’s burnt, and so Cabin Fever gets everybody out of the house, and we get them ready for spring,” Beck said.

It works like this: Grab a card at any of 20 participating businesses throughout northeastern Pennsylvania. Spend $10 or more at any of the shops to get a stamp. Six stamps get you entered into a drawing for one of three $200 gift cards, which you can use at any of the businesses.

“It’s a lot of fun seeing people come across the parking lot with their little card,” Beck said.

The idea is to encourage people to shop small during what’s typically a slower time of year.

“February is a hard time of year for small businesses. Everybody’s kind of hunkered down, hibernating. The holidays are over, and this gets them out. Everybody loves a good treasure hunt and three chances to win a $200 card at the end is pretty great,” said Gretchen Senerchia, who works at Melbens Murkantile in Nicholson.

“We’ve had a lot of new customers come in over the past three years from doing this. It’s really benefited us and all the vendors,” said Maren Visavati, owner of Sunny Treasures Vendor Collections in Tunkhannock.

Businesses from Scranton to Towanda take part.

“It gets people from all different areas. I’m all the way up in Wyoming County, so it brings people from Scranton, and it brings people from Wyoming County down here. And we’re not in competition; we’re just trying to help each other out,” said Russell Hodgson, owner of Simple Treasures Antiques & Gifts in Meshoppen.

“People find it interesting to find new places with a different selection. At each of these places, you’re going to find something unique,” said Nikki Stone, a vendor at Sunny Treasures. “And while you’re doing it, you’re supporting independent people who are just trying to do something fun and make a living.”

You have until February 28 to get your stamps. The drawing will be held on March 5. Get updates on the group’s Facebook page here.

Check out WNEP’s YouTube channel.

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