Thursday, March 28th was a great night to pull local retailers together from Alliance and Hemingford.
We discussed the recent announcements and closures of two anchor retailers, sales tax, resources available, retention & expansion opportunities for existing businesses. It is harder to recruit new businesses to a community who's existing businesses need support. We plan to strengthen our current base and once we do that, new opportunities should come knocking.
We dove in deeper to discuss challenges & successes. Marketing seems to be the most challenging for existing businesses. Today, the consumer is looking for more convenient or immediate access vs. "shopping" and that is disheartening.
We as a community need to be better about supporting those who support our community. The sales tax collected goes into our streets, infrastructure, and quality of life things that most take for granted. Our parks, pool, and museums are all successes and something to be proud of. Why can't our businesses we have be a success vs. the lack of what we don't have?
We are in a "use it or lose it" world today. I challenge you to spend some time in our stores. Become familiar with what they do have and who is willing to order in what you want. You will be suprised. I personally value a "relationship" over a "dollar" but I may be old fashioned, and I'm only 32.
BIG BOX retailers have certain demographics to meet and proximity to warehouse distribution plays a major part in getting the product here. The City nor BBDC have NO authority to prevent any business from coming to our community, despite what you may hear.
BBDC is here to assist any business looking to start, expand, or relocate. We have valuable resources available, just ask.
Support local. The big boxes aren't supporting our local teams and fundraisers. If you don't shop local, we will lose more.
I want to leave you with a positive. Over half of our population is under 50, meaning young families are choosing to move back or home. It isn't because of the businesses we have or don't have, it's because of the quality of life they remember or desire. There is enough negative in the world, why not try being positive for a change.