Retail shops on Main Streets all across rural America are playing musical chairs, with some shops closing due to tough times while others see opportunities to start their own businesses. In ‘Small Shops Slump, Soar in Region’s Downtowns’ you can read about the trials and tribulations of shopkeepers in small town Delaware, Ohio:
“Although at odds on the surface, those developments could well be a sign of the tough times.
Turnover, not uncommon on small-town Main Streets across Ohio, always increases when the economy slows, said Jeff Siegler, director of revitalization for Heritage Ohio, a preservation group.
At the same time, loyalty to local retailers increases. That might, in turn, boost the confidence of new business owners and lead to growth of the sort Marysville is experiencing.
“In times of crisis, people really rally around their communities,” Siegler said.”
The article also discusses a recent study that concluded that locally owned retailers in more rural areas, where there is less competition and often more loyalty to existing shops, might be better-positioned to survive these tough times than metropolitan areas.
Downtown Delaware is also seeing a change in ‘who’ is leasing downtown space. Retailers and niche businesses are replacing service and professional businesses like law or medical offices that are moving, or closing.