Bakersfield Center stores celebrated a year of opening with a giveaway to encourage people to continue supporting local businesses.

Country MX Parts and Gifts And Crafts On Ellen have both been open for a year now and have run a promotion to celebrate alongside the other Bakersfield stores.

Customers who spent $20 or more at any of the Bakersfield stores ran to win a $50 voucher for each store, with the lucky winner being announced on Thursday, May 12.

Betty Simounds of Gifts And Crafts On Ellen and Ashley Iley of Country MX Parts cut a cake outside their stores after the winner was drawn.

Ms Simounds said it had been a very interesting year for her and she had noticed a few trends in the city.

“We see a lot of old people coming into the main street, but not the young ones,” she said.

She said COVID had certainly impacted business by getting people to flock to online shopping, but there were benefits too.

“The highs were able to be out there, seeing people, talking to people and letting them know there’s a different place they can shop,” she said.

Mr Iley said he was grateful he decided to ‘bite the bullet’ and open his shop when he did.

“It was very intimidating, was it a situation like I even had to do this?” he said.

“But that’s been my life, motorcycles are really all I’ve done.”

Mr Ily said running a business “isn’t all about pretty colors and paint on the wall”, but it was worth it in the end.

He said anyone who is serious about opening a business should just go for it provided they have everything they need in place.

“If everything goes well, just do it and don’t hold back,” he said.

“If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. At least you can say you tried.”

The other two stores in Bakersfield Center are operated by building owners Den Kennedy and Dianne Wait-Kennedy.