Four Berrien Co. women combine businesses - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Four Berrien Co. women combine businesses

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By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

NASHVILLE, GA (WALB) –Tough economic times call for creativity.

In Berrien County, four women have put their heads and their business together.

They're hoping their cost-cutting, expense sharing experiment will help them survive the economic downturn.

Karen Crews has always wanted to own a cafe, and now that dream is a reality. Crews, the owner of the Brown Bag Sandwich Shop, checked out renting a building herself.

"There would've been no way I could've done it," said Crews.

Her business is inside the same building as Eclectic Cottage, the Children's Cottage, and Jennie's Monogramming on South Davis Street in Nashville.

"It's been wonderful," said Crews.

The building used to be a garage.

Now the four women share the expenses. Debra Hardeman owns the building and also the Eclectic Cottage. She recruited the other three businesses to come in.

"It's helped us share the labors and share customers also," said Nicole Rentz, the Children's Cottage owner.

"It's a difficult time economically, but our merchants are trying to find ways, unique ways, to increase the customer base,"  said Dawn Morrison, the Nashville Better Hometown director. "They provide wonderful services."

In one stop you can get a children's gift, get a bag monogrammed, and even grab lunch.

A parking lot will soon be constructed for these four shops, with a $92,000 USDA Grant.

The Brown Bag Sandwich Shop has only been open for about a week. Crews says sharing the building with other entrepreneurs is a perfect way to cut down on costs. She estimates she's save saved thousands of dollars.

The parking grant from USDA is also helping the Nashville economy.

The old Blake's Restaurant building, adjacent to the lot, has already been sold by the Downtown Development Authority.


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