There I was, walking Water Street heading toward the downtown, lost in thought when all of a sudden, my surroundings changed! Talk about getting a jolt and waking up.
No, I’m not talking about the historic home that had half its front demolished by an elderly driver; I’m talking about the brick sidewalk in front of Starboard Galley.
That’s a big deal!
“Big deal?” you may say. Yes, a BIG DEAL.
When consumers are tight on the money, they need an extra push to get them to loosen those tight purse strings. In addition, if they don’t know about your business; they won’t spend money in your business. One of the huge problems in our City has been this:
How do you get the crowds that come to Newburyport’s downtown to go to businesses who
aren’t lucky enough to be on Inn Street, lower State Street and Market Square?
You have to attract them there and not with cheap, plastic A-frame signs. The owner of the Tea House was fanatical about putting out these non-historic inducements to get businesses to travel down Middle Street to his place. Well, now he’s a former-owner of the ‘former’ Tea House.
You draw them toward you by telling them that you are part of the historic downtown. You put up historic streetlights, you put historic brick down so you ‘draw’ them down to you and you appear and present yourself as part of the ‘historic downtown experience’.
A fine example is Pleasant Street and upper State. These were dead places but slowly but surely, more and more people have been attracted because it appears as part of the historic downtown.
The Tannery has been very successful as well as other businesses to draw tourists down toward Federal Street. But it could be better. The historic streetlights are sporadic and the brick sidewalks are intermittent.
Starboard Galley knows these important truths and have spent their own money (You think the City did this?) to help in drawing customers more efficiently down to their business.
Every other business that ‘gets it’ aught to be doing the same – like the area toward Mr. India and Michael’s Harborside for example.
We can’t afford to skip it in a recession. We need to draw these visitors in!