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Saving downtown Pittsboro

By Melissa Delbridge
Posted Thursday, October 13, 2011

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Pittsboro, NC - I have lived in Pittsboro for less than a year and don’t pretend to understand all of the problems that are resulting in complaints about and closings of local downtown businesses. We’ve established that some people have had unpleasant experiences in local restaurants. We know that downtown merchants are struggling in this economy. At least two businesses have announced closings in the past few weeks. Attractive buildings, new and old, that should be bustling with customers, stand empty. In the center of our town, our historic courthouse stands, still fenced and window-boarded, a mute witness to this sorrow.

Hard times? Undeniable. The economy is bad just about everywhere. We can either throw up our hands and shake our heads and shuffle on down the road to Chapel Hill to do business while our town dries up or we can try to identify what we can do to help.

What impact would it have if every Chatlist reader who lives in Pittsboro spent $40 a month in a downtown business? What if all of us made a little more effort to see if we could find a way to keep our business in Chatham County? To do our Christmas shopping downtown? What would happen if we started talking about things we all have to drive to another county to do? Maybe we could start to figure out what kinds of businesses can thrive in Pittsboro. The Small Business Center at Central Carolina Community College offers courses, programs, and resources to help beginning entrepreneurs.

I don’t know. It’s a pretty fall morning and I’m talking off the top of my head. I’m just wondering who has ideas about how to fix the problems. Are downtown rents too high? What services do we all wish we could find in Pittsboro? If you see a local business struggling, do you complain or do you offer your ideas on strategies that would help?

I’m no expert, but I do believe in the power of good people thinking and acting to bring about change. What are the best ways for us to get together and help one another through these difficult economic times?

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Saving downtown Pittsboro

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