Cheers to downtown merchants
Published 1:55 am Tuesday, April 18, 2017
A renewed effort among downtown merchants to work together on attracting more patrons to the area is refreshing.
In the past, at least among some merchants, or former merchants, efforts to improve the communication and cooperation between merchants often ended in petty squabbles.
Finding common ground sometimes was difficult and as is often the case with groups a small group of merchants carried the bulk of the heavy lifting on downtown promotion and marketing efforts.
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Through the years, the Natchez Downtown Development Association dwindled to almost nothing — mostly a group that existed on paper.
The renewed effort, coordinated in part by the Natchez-Adams Chamber of Commerce and helped tremendously by the volunteers leading the charge, seems on point to maximize the group’s collective power and reach to help themselves.
The retail business is tough all over the country with extremely heavy competition from online retailers who have virtually limitless inventory and can sell things a hair above cost and still make a profit because of their lack of local fixed assets.
Natchez needs a strong downtown. It is a critical piece of the tourism equation.
People can shop at an online retailer from anywhere in the world, but walking through the historic Natchez downtown is an experience of which only a few cities in the country can offer.
Understanding that and getting downtown Natchez’s story communicated is critical.
The early works of the grassroots downtown organization appears well on its way to making that a reality. And we offer the group our deepest appreciation.