This is the first part of series that will explore the effect the economy is having on local businesses and what is being done to advocate for the backbone of our economy.
Despite reports on television and in the daily newspapers that the economy is on the upswing, the manager of one local business says it isn’t so.
“Maybe in some areas I can understand that, but in a town the size of Louisa, we’ve still got a ways to go before we see an improvement in the economy,” Paige Carpenter, who manages Fabric Hut and Gift Gallery in downtown Louisa, said.
“I think it would be hard to go up and down Main Street to find a business that isn’t struggling right now,” she added. “I think it’s a sign of the times and the economy.”
Carpenter manages the store that her mother, Phyllis Johnson, established 41 years ago. She is joined by her staff, Sharon Kubat and Terry Colvin.
Sales at the store are not where they typically should be at this time of year. So, they decided on Friday, July 26 to hang a sign in the store window asking for the community’s help.
The handmade sign simply states, “Help us stay open.”
The sign has piqued the curiosity of passersby who have stopped in or called the shop to find out why it’s there. According to Kubat, several people who stopped by left with a purchase.
Carpenter said she made the sign about three months ago, rolled it up and stored it in the back room until she felt the time was right to display it. After neighboring Solid Grounds Coffee House was forced to close its doors, she felt that the time was right.
“We wanted to make the town aware we are struggling, too,” Colvin said. “We don’t want to be a statistic.”
One of the key points that she wants to get across to the community is that for local businesses to survive, people need to shop locally before heading to the big cities to buy their goods.
“It’s a very slow year for us, possibly one of the worst since we’ve moved to that location,” Carpenter said. “It’s just hard for small businesses to stay open.”
To read the entire story, see the Aug. 8 edition of The Central Virginian.