Editorial: Start spreading the (good) newsPublished 10:28pm Wednesday, January 25, 2012
News this week of five Niles businesses closing has caused quite a stir in the community.
Maybe that is an understatement.
The Star, as well as other newspapers and TV stations, have reported that five businesses coincidentally have either closed or plan to close in the next week. Each has a different reason for closing — for some, it was because business was down; one was to relocate to another city; and for a third, it was because its employees are moving in different directions.
The timing was not good. Facebook has been flooded with comments from residents defending Niles’ business climate. Some residents and other business owners believe it was the media sensationalizing a non-issue; others have said it is reflective of the economy or even Niles itself.
We do not believe this is a non-issue. These closings affect people’s lives — the owners, the employees, their patrons and other businesses in town.
We have and will continue to do stories about businesses expanding, opening or changing.
However, we need those business owners to come forward.
Effective business owners usually understand the importance of publicizing good news happening. In fact, they usually want to shout it from the rooftops. And we are here to listen.
As journalists, we do hear business news around town, but we do not know everything. A business could be doing great things, but quietly, and in those cases, we may not learn about what is happening.
So drop us a line, or an email, or a visit, to let us know about these stories.
We also believe this is a good time to encourage — as some Niles businesses have been — that residents try to shop locally whenever possible. Consider trying a new restaurant you have never visited, or shop for a unique gift at a local store. The mom-and-pop service at a small shop is hard to get at a larger chain store. If you haven’t been downtown in a couple years, check it out. There are many locally owned restaurants, shops and stores along South 11th Street as well.
Do not assume that a local or small business is going to be more expensive than a chain restaurant or box store. You may also find better service, a homier atmosphere and a sense of community — something that can’t be mass-produced.
We believe that this unusual week is just a temporary dark spot for Niles. Many businesses are thriving, as we reported in our Wednesday reaction story. Look for more good business stories in coming weeks.
This editorial represents the opinions of the editorial board.