You can help local businesses
It wasn’t too many weeks ago that a local businessperson suggested to Wilton officials that they do more to help local shops attract more customers.
Surely if local officials in any town could help town businesses attract more customers, they’d do it.
Wilton has a really nice downtown, but many businesses have come and gone over the past decade and that’s disconcerting. We’re sure officials would love to change that by helping existing and new businesses attract more customers.
You see the operative question here, and we’re pretty sure it’s the question that ran through the minds of Wilton officials when it was suggested that they help out: Really, though, what can public officials do?
Wilton has a Main Street Association, formed when the town became part of the state’s Main Street program, and we’re certain the association tries to help shops drum up customers. But they have the same problem as do town officials: What can they really do?
Unfortunately, Wilton’s Main Street is a bit off the beaten trail, being bypassed by Route 101, so not many people just happen to pass through. But you know, the same could be said about Peterborough’s main street, yet businesses there seem to thrive.
The question seems to be this: What kind of businesses would attract people to Wilton? There is already the Town Hall Theatre, which brings in many people, and one would hope that they would take the time to check out the rest of the town. Apparently not enough did to keep Wilton’s one Main Street restaurant thriving, which is a pity. It was a nice place.
Once upon a time, Harwood’s Grocery drew people in, but that closed many years ago, a pity because it was a bit of a draw.
Now there are two antiques shops, and a business theory is that the more of something in a town, the more attractive that town is to shoppers; i.e., two antiques shops are better than one and three would be better than two. Well, we hope so. Wilton is a nice town. Main Street is attractive.
Perhaps the antiques shops are the answer: People who come to shop there will check out other local stores. That is our fervent hope.
But when it comes to local officials doing more to attract customers, we keep coming back to the same question:
Perhaps nothing, but here’s something we can do: Shop locally, in all of our towns. Christmas is coming, many folks are going to be buying gifts and what better place to buy them is … Right down the street.