March 5 2009 12:00 AM

Two downtown Lansing businesses will soon be closing down: The owners of Hankins Gallery, 117 E. Kalamazoo St., and Dollar Deal, 214 S. Washington Square, say they are closing shop for various reasons, including the economy.

Wendy Hedeen, owner of Hankins Gallery, said that owning the art gallery had been a struggle for the past three or four years.  She blames Michigan’s economy, and on top of that the national economy, as a big contribution as to why the business began to have a huge drop in sales.

“It’s been a struggle to get people to buy original artwork,” said Hedeen.

The gallery tried to cut costs last year by moving from an East Lansing location at 280 M.A.C. Ave., but Hedeen said it wasn’t enough to save the business.

Heden says she will now go back to work full-time as a physical therapist.

“I’m very blessed to have that to fall back on,” said Hedeen, who admitted to working part-time as a physical therapist while owning the gallery.

“It’s been too stressful (working both jobs) and I need a break.”

The gallery will close at the end of March.

Similarly, Dollar Deal will be closing at the end of March. Mark Rainey, whose wife Lisa owns the shop, said there was no particular reason that the business is closing. Later, however, he said the closing had a little to do with the economy and a lot to do with the weather.

Since the business is located downtown, Rainey said that many people didn’t come to the shop if it was rainy, snowy or cold because they weren’t likely to be walking around downtown.

Rainey said that a two-year lease was signed to occupy the space, and although it’s been three years since Dollar Deal took up shop he felt that he and his wife’s time here is up and are ready to move on to other ventures. 

Rainey said that people are sad to see the business go and will miss being at the store because there are a lot of good people in the area.