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Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Letter: Virginia King
The other side of the story

Friday, March 29, 2013

My husband and I are one of those property owners in uptown that (Darlene) Swain mentioned in her letter to the editor (March 27). We, too, would love to see uptown full of those little shops and businesses. We have and do offer low rent as an incentive to bring them here, but that has not been the answer to the problem.

We have few inquiries. Often, those inquiries are from people who have dreams of opening a business but lack money to get a store started (i.e., buying stock, insurance, permits, advertisement, paying utilities), need an income quickly, and/or are not knowledgeable about bookkeeping. They have not developed a realistic business plan, which takes into consideration all of the above as well as the potential market for their product or services.

I don’t know about the other property owners uptown, but we are trying to do our part to fill those empty spaces with stores that will bring people uptown. The EDC, SCORE, Longwood Small Business Development Center and West Piedmont Business Development Center are available for free assistance and advice.

We need people who have creative ideas, have a willingness to work long hours and are realistic about how long it takes for a new business to become profitable. Many successful businesses have been started by people who have lost their job. They end up doing something for which they have a passion and enjoying being their own boss.

We also need people to take time to visit uptown and support the businesses that are there. Helping the businesses that are already there be successful will be an encouragement for new businesses to be established.

Virginia King



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