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OneSweetWorld

What Can WE Do to Help Bring Business DT?

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This is a pretty random subject, but I was trying to think of ways that a little citizen of Grand Rapids like me could do to help bring business to downtown GR, and I thought of something. We all want big shopping stores downtown like in Chicago or NYC right? So next time you go to a fashionable store (or any store for that matter) and they ask for your area code, give them the area code of Downtown (whatever that is--I'm not sure) even if you don't live downtown.

Kind of random, I know, but if anyone else has little ideas like that, throw 'em in here! :)

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For some reason I like this idea, but I have never been asked for my zip code. Only when I stop by Radio Shack do I get asked this question.

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This is a pretty random subject, but I was trying to think of ways that a little citizen of Grand Rapids like me could do to help bring business to downtown GR, and I thought of something. We all want big shopping stores downtown like in Chicago or NYC right? So next time you go to a fashionable store (or any store for that matter) and they ask for your area code, give them the area code of Downtown (whatever that is--I'm not sure) even if you don't live downtown.

Kind of random, I know, but if anyone else has little ideas like that, throw 'em in here! :)

Telephone code? thats 616.

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Just use 49503 (covers downtown). I get asked my zip code all the time. <_<

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49504 is on the west side of the river too, so that could also work

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I figured out this one a while ago. Stores like to know where their shoppers live. They use this data when planning new stores and such. I always use 49503.

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There seems to be a lot in the ways of events and such going on downtown but they don't seem to be publicized very well. I think a more aggressive marketing campaign for DT business and events would help draw more people, and by extension, more business. And of course, housing, housing, housing! :D

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Grand Rapids needs some true high density urban neighborhoods ala Lincoln Park and Lincoln Square. The condo projects are wonderful but fail to create a large footprint neighborhood with treelined walkable communities with smaller business districts that serve that area specifically. Areas with bakeries, cafes, pubs, boutique stores, and small markets. I envision 4 story townhomes (divided into 3 or 4 apartment/condos/single family homes) that continue for blocks. Heritage Hill is nice but large homes divided into apartments will rarely attract young familes with children, or older retired people. The west side seems a logical place to attempt such a project (but would be next to impossible to accomplish). Just my dream. Once there is a large population within walking distance downtown Grand Rapids will be forced to bring in shopping districts and the like.

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I think that creating a neighborhood like Lincoln Park in G.R. could be closer than you think. But how?

I personally see that the biggest reason that there aren't more small businesses is because people are truly scared to open retail stores. And for good reason; retail stores are a bit like kids. They're a lot of work, they test your patience daily, they're expensive to run, it's a thankless job and sometimes you just want to take a nap and leave 'em to fend for themselves. Many who start businesses fizzle out because they either don't have the knowhow to make it run well or they just don't give it the effort, time and money to truly take off. But it's so rewarding for the right person in the right place. It's a joyful challenge.

So who wants to open a business? Do you dare? We need unique stores with products consumers want. We need people with passion, we need people willing to take the plunge and stock their stores well. We need 12 more useful stores on Wealthy Street needs and it could become Lincoln Park-esque! If someone wants to make the effort and has passion to start a business, I encourage them to talk to store owners or just figure it out and do it! Too many people fear the unknown. If we all had fear of the unknown our neighborhoods wouldn't exist at all!

If you yourself don't want to run a business but have money to back one or part of one, create a partnership and work with someone else. Back someone you know that wants to start a business and get it going.

I am confident that well thought out and well run small businesses can really succeed here. Is the economy totally in the crapper? Maybe it's hurtin' but people have money to spend, they just need to feel good spending it in the right place and on the right thing. They need to trust the business, they need to know that they're receiving quality and service with a smile.

I wish that people who want this kind of neighborhood would actively help those of us who are already doing it to find a way to make these things happen. Don't sit back :unsure: and wait for someone else to do it! Shop local and we will succeed. Help build local and we'll really succeed. Let's create a village!

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Yes, the best way to help our downtown communities is to shop there and use their services! We try to get whatever we can from a local retailer first. Only when we have to do we go out to the suburban big-boxes. It does cost a little more (we were actually suprised in many case how little), but it is also an investment in the future of our local economy. We used to shop Walmart about once every other week :sick: , now we hardly every go there; we have been able to find everything we need closer and locally. I think once local retailers and entrepreners see that they have a market, they will start to open more stores; it just takes a certain critical mass and if we all do our part, we can have that happen sooner. :thumbsup:

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I think shopgirl is saying, instead of trying to "bring businesses downtown or to the inner city", that we should "BECOME a business downtown or in the surrounding neighborhoods, or if you can't, help someone who can".

Very good point.

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One of the recurring elements I hear when I'm involved in this discussion is that people want to own, and most don't view a condo situation as such.

I can name a dozen second stage companies that started downtown, but when they reached maturity, moved to somewhere in the near suburbs because there were no 40-employee type buildings available downtown.

The same situation is seen in the housing market, you've got your choice of condo, huge old house, or crackhouse with new carpet.

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There seems to be a lot in the ways of events and such going on downtown but they don't seem to be publicized very well. I think a more aggressive marketing campaign for DT business and events would help draw more people, and by extension, more business. And of course, housing, housing, housing! :D

I seem to recall that the downtown businesses were getting together on a new marketing campaign. I agree that this would help may more people aware of the great businesses that we do have.

As other have said, I too try to do as much shopping as I can downtown or in the close-in neighborhoods. What ultimately matters is not where I shop but where hundreds of us shop.

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