Kudos to Mayor and Council and staff of the Town of Princeton.
Last Wednesday a forum was provided for members/owners of the business community to come together to voice their concerns and offer solutions to the seemingly dwindling amounts of businesses in our downtown core. It was noted that 17 out of 75 business buildings were not in use.
Numerous issues that were said to be a hindrance to business were discussed and suggestions to solve those hindrances were made. Five volunteers from the business community also came forward to form a committee to work with Council on resolutions.
Working with Council to solve problems with bylaws, zoning and main signage issues is possible, but I don’t believe that Council can do anything to solve or control issues like rental/lease pricing, customer service issues, hours of operation, whether we advertise our business or don’t, or whether or not our storefronts are clean or are in a state of disrepair.
Sure I believe that Council should be working to promote our community—they represent us. But as businesses, it is up to us to promote ourselves to not only our community but to those who just come to visit as well. Our business is our livelihood and it is our responsibility.
It is up to us as business people in the community to present ourselves and our products in the best way possible.
First impressions are huge, and if the first impression someone has is that of an unkempt outside looking in, there is hardly a chance that a would be customer would walk through your door. If customer service is an issue, customers will not return.
On the other hand, shopping local is important in the whole support system of the community we live in. Not only do you support the businesses, and employees, in one way or another, you are supporting your community and yourselves. Local businesses give endlessly to the community. Non-profit organizations would not survive, if not for the generosity of local businesses. If not for the non-profits, I don’t think there would be a whole lot of activity within the community.
It’s a whole complex circle of issues and resolutions. We need more people to keep business alive, we need more business to employ more people…and so on.
Working to better the items we can control like the responsibilities that go along with managing our own businesses is a good place to start.
Convincing land/building owners to come back to reality with rental/leasing and selling prices would be another. (That goes for residential as well)
Let’s get some pride going folks, maintain, enhance and beautify what we have first and lets make a good impression that lasts and will entice others to join us.