To the editor:
I’m frustrated with downtown retail businesses. Downtown merchants constantly complain about chain and big box stores stealing their business. Yet, numerous times, my wife and I finish a dinner downtown at 8:00 on a beautiful spring night, want to walk around and maybe shop, and find (only a few) chain stores open. These cool evenings bring masses of families and couples downtown to eat, people watch, and would like to shop, but find four out of five stores closed.
If downtown wants to keep thriving, the downtown independent merchants need to jointly stay open later in the spring and summer seasons to capture some of the potential shoppers that are already enjoying downtown’s wonderful food. If only a few downtown stores stay open later and the majority close early, people will still receive the impression that any evening shopping needs to be done along south Iowa Street, and that won’t help downtown.