It’s Not Just About Shopping
Why is downtown not just a place to shop? Why is it really so much more? Think of all the reasons you go downtown. I bet shopping is just one of many.
Downtown is a gathering place for social reasons as much as it is for commercial reasons. Think of how many times you run into friends and neighbors in the post office, bank, or coffee shop. You often learn a lot about what’s going on in town by conversations on the street.
Downtown is the heart of community. It’s where you go to enjoy a concert on the Common. It’s where you celebrate the holidays, whether it’s Christmas, Halloween, Memorial Day, or even Valentines Day: downtown is where you gather.
Main Street organizations have made it one of their primary goals to encourage and promote a sense of community downtown. But why is this so important? It all comes down to something I hope everyone reading this already feels: pride. Pride in your community, pride in your downtown.
Pride is the basis behind the “no broken window” theory. Essentially it says if you leave one broken window then people are less likely to care until it spirals out of control. If people take pride in their community then vandalism and crime is greatly reduced.
Pride is why community members partner with the police department to paint over graffiti behind buildings. Pride is why there are flower barrels up and down Main Street. Pride is why we string lights on the Common and decorate for Christmas.
When a visitor comes downtown they know the community feels pride – it shows everywhere and never more than the holiday season. Pride is only going to bring more people through town to admire the results of so much hard work.