Occupy Main Street

I live in a quaint little town in the suburbs of New York City. Here in Westchester County, NY small towns line the Hudson River and nearby countryside and are bustling with local businesses and local talent and local everything.

Last night over drinks, with my friend Sarah, we were chatting with the staff of the Flying Pig in Mount Kisco, NY who told us that the rumours were true… they are closing up shop December 31! Yikes! What a shame, another great local restaurant bites the dust. But the conversation does not stop here…. I have heard that our charming “downtown” area that it such a picturesque tree lined space is also going to lose a handful of retailers … large and small … why? High rents and slumped economy. So what’s going to happen to this and other towns across the country? I don’t know!

Yes the rents are high, but the economy is low very low, can the landlords help out? Why are they raising rents when they know they are driving businesses out? If large retailers  are leaving… what’s going to happen to the small businesses and what’s going to happen to the small business owner? Truth is… even having a large retailer is better than having an empty store front. Empty store fronts tend to invite vandalism, lowers property values and drain the energy of a downtown area!

How do we influence the decisions made about our towns? 

Where to start this discussion? In keeping with the energy and momentum create by the OCCUPY WALL STREET organizers, Sarah and I talked about starting local and going global… OCCUPY MAIN STREET. You can do this in your town. Start a discussion online and see to see what changes you can influence in your neighbourhood.

We’ve started an online discussion so please join us on twitter using the hashtag #westchat and #occupymain also follow me at @pluslily and @mariacolaco and follow Sarah @westchesterlife 

Why should you care about #occupyMain ?

  1. Because our small towns are dying!
  2. Small business owners have to close up shop after years and years of being established and adding to the economic infrastructure of their communities
  3. Young entrepenuers and future small business owners are are going to be discouraged.
  4. Gone will be the oppourtunity to browse and see your neighbours , gone will be local color and conversation. In a sense gone will be the chance for the money you spend to stay in the local community.
  5. One word – STRIPMALLS! ( please no!)

In the words of Mohandas Gandhi – You must be the change you wish to see in the world.

Tell me your thoughts below!