Maintaining the excitement

Published 6:32 pm Thursday, July 25, 2019

For those on social media, a local page, “Washington NC–What’s Happening,” is a great source of information for goings-on in downtown Washington and Beaufort County, in general. Recently, one post on the page got a lot of attention and generated a good deal of excitement.

A person seeking to open a new business posted a simple question that brought forth a huge response — what kind of business would you like to see open up in Washington?

The response to that question was pretty astounding. More than 500 people chimed in on the thread, suggesting a wide variety of businesses. Suggestions included a new restaurant, a downtown convenience store, a waterfront hotel, a live music venue, an arcade, a bowling alley, a book store and chain restaurants, just to name a few.

Every suggestion was a representation of what would appeal to each individual commenter. The sky was the limit, and everyone seems to have an opinion on what kind of business they want to see in the town. But here’s the kicker: once the excitement and novelty is over, will the community continue to support that new business?

For many of the suggestions, the response was similar: “We already have it” or “Such and such already does this or is planning that.” This, in turn, prompted a whole new thread about the businesses that are already here and how it takes community support to keep them successful. Some local business owners even joined in on the conversation, perhaps taking away a few ideas for their own businesses in the process.

It’s a tough world for small businesses. For a new business owner, setting up shop can be both an exciting and terrifying experience, especially not knowing how it will be received. The small business owners here in Washington pour themselves, mind and body, into making their ventures successful. It’s really a commendable effort, and it takes courage to take the plunge into entrepreneurship.

A new business is great. Novelty brings interest and excitement that can have a ripple effect on what’s already here. Something new is always welcome and cause for celebration. But when the newness fades away, that’s where the rubber meets the road. It’s up to the community to support all of these local businesses, new and old alike.