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'Outside the box' shopping helps local holiday sales

A campaign urging Elkhart residents to buy locally in the holiday season appears to have paid off for merchants in Goshen, The Elkhart Truth reported on Sunday. A group of Goshen city business owners said many locals did go out of their way to "shop outside the box" — eschewing mega stores like Wal-Mart and the Target — a shift that helped boost the small businesses' sales over last year's dismal numbers. One shop owner said 2009 had been the best Christmas season she has had in her six years of operation. The downtown businesses also benefited from strategic adjustments since last year, such as switching to lower-priced products, and opening on Sundays, when they typically are closed.