Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Another One Bites the Dust: Are Small Businesses on America's Main Streets Doomed?

Another one bites the dust.

It sounds harsh.  I'm talking about another one of my favorite places on Main Street in Sylvania. First it was Dragonfly.  It's gone. A nice candle shop has moved in.

Now we learn that The Pink Door, formerly called Juni's, is also going down, going out of business.  The "For Rent" sign is up.

Darn. This is a women's clothing boutigue with pretty and fun clothes for young and older women, too.  A great place to get blouses and pants, dresses and jackets, scarves and accessories.

I guess it's just too difficult to keep these independently-owned small businesses going.  Too costly, too exhausting, too all-consuming to the point of infringing on personal and family life, and on personal finances.

I thought business was picking up at the Pink Door.  My daughter Elissa, who works there part-time, filling in here and there for owner Shannon, did, too, although she does say  how hard it is to keep a small shop going, to attract more people to do more shopping and more buying.

"It's such a neat store, with such beautiful things," I replied. "I thought it would go on,  It seemed like it has a growing clientele, too," people who came in regularly to get clothes and gifts.

"Regulars are good, but more is better," Elissa said, or something to that effect.

Are small businesses along historic Main Street in Sylvania doomed?

Are small businesses along all of America's Main Streets in old downtowns of small towns doomed?  It kind of looks that way from here.

What can be done? Those of us who live in old downtowns "shop local," as much as possible, and we become attached.  But I guess it's not enough, sad to say.  We talk and speculate.  What is the market? What would work? A used clothes store or second-hand store?  An antique shop or antique mall? A used furniture and household items consignment store?

"No endings in nature, only beginnings," my dear brother always reminded me.  A new door will open when the Pink Door closes.

We wish Shannon good luck, and a thank you for the Pink Door experience!

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