There is always a certain excitement in the air around graduation season.
Beginning with Georgia Southern's graduation at the beginning of May, and concluding with high school and Ogeechee Technical College's graduation ceremonies as the month comes to a close, you sense hope and optimism. That is, unless, you are a local business owner.
The summer months are brutal for local businesses. You sense with the significant decrease in traffic, and relatively empty parking lots in front of stores, that things are about to get ugly. And inevitably, every year they do.
I have interviewed so many business owners over the years during the summer, and almost without exception those going through their first summer are shocked and dismayed by the drop in sales.
They readily admit that they knew it was coming, and had tried to prepare monetarily for it, but just couldn't imagine it. My analogy for this is that it is like having a baby. Until you have actually given birth, you simply cannot conceive of what it is like.
You new business owners out there - get ready, the season is upon us. In saying that, I am also issuing a challenge and a plea.
As residents, we need to make a conscious effort to patronize our local businesses during this time. Even though, most expect and prepare for the decrease in sales, every little bit helps.
As a community, we are very vocal in our demand for variety and options in where we shop and where we eat. We get excited when a new business opens, and practically run each other over trying to get into the front door.
This is when those businesses really, really need us. The need us downtown, in the market district, in the mall area, and around the bypass. This is a critical time as it pertains to the continued commercial development in our community.
We need to demonstrate that we are willing to support business in our community through the lean months, and again make a conscious effort to do so. That is my charge to you.
So, until next Tuesday, I bid you au revoir.
Got a scoop for Jan? Call her at (912) 489-9463 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org