We may be down, but we are not out. This is the sentiment shared by many business owners around town, especially on Main Street.
“To be honest, business is down, but we are not going out of business,” said Minette Hart, owner of Down the Street Art Gallery and member of the Main Street Merchants Guild.
While the town has seen several businesses pack up and leave in recent weeks, more are choosing to stay and weather the storm, Hart said.
Hart reports that for every business that has left Main Street in the last year, another has opened. So, while it may seem like little progress has been made, businesses are continuing to open, including two new buildings next to Gasoline Alley on Main Street. Rex Hinshaw with Hinshaw & Associates and Payson Physical Therapy are moving into the new spaces.
Hart also reports that shop owners invested more than half a million dollars into Main Street renovations last year. Every year, the guild, made up of 13 businesses, surveys each of the business owners along Main Street for the number of renovations and employees. Survey results show that more than 100 people are employed by Main Street businesses.
One of the newer businesses along Main Street that is thriving is Re-Runs Resale Boutique. Owners Andy and Cindy Kofile say business is doing so well, they plan to expand their shop to accommodate new merchandise.
And Main Street has plenty of open space for new businesses and expansions, something Hart said the rest of town does not offer.
“This is the only place with room for expansion,” she said.
Hart said she hopes to see the guild organize more events to attract visitors to Main Street, similar to the First Friday event and attract new members. With everyone’s help, the street will survive and thrive, she said.