Shopping local still a key to success
Over the past few years, some businesses have been struggling, trying to make ends meet, while others have closed their doors.
An example is a downtown landmark, the Sherman House, which was rumored to be in danger of closing. Recently, a large crowd came out one Saturday last month to show support for the 162-year-old restaurant and inn, ongoing patronage is needed for it as well as other businesses.
Meeting have been held to organize the re-building of Batesville’s Main Street organization, which encourages the revitalization and restoration of downtown areas. It was great to see nearly 40 individuals, including business owners and interested citizens, in attendance.
There were discussions about how to bring people downtown, and various ideas were brought up about how to do this.
Some want to highlight the wonderful history of the city. Others stressed the importance of promoting all the assets we have, including schools, churches, hospital, parks, trails, baseball/softball fields and area festivals.
Renovations, including the two-way street, landscaping and new building facades, have been added over the past few years to make the downtown more appealing. Now we need the people to come, not only visitors but businesses wanting to locate here, so empty storefronts can be filled.
Many of the hometown shops close by 5 p.m. weekdays. It’s often difficult for small town business owners to stay open later. However, this leads to another dilemma. What about people who can’t get there before that? What good is a beautiful downtown if people have no place to go and spend their money?
Mayor Rick Fledderman said, “We just have to persevere and go for it and make things better.”
This is true not only for downtown but all over the city. We want our community to thrive. Batesville is a great place to live and work, but everyone needs to do their part, whether it be shopping local, volunteering, supporting local events and businesses or simply telling others why “You Can’t Beat Batesville.”
The work will be ongoing, but together we can make a difference.