Pink Fire Pointer Why Salem needs to take a lesson from Roanoke City

Why Salem needs to take a lesson from Roanoke City

 Sweet Pete's Yogurt and Tinkerings is among the many businesses that have tried to set up shop in Salem only to close within a year. Main Street, Salem, is dotted with open and vacant buildings. This is not an encouraging sight for prospective businesses. That is not to say that Roanoke City doesn't experience the same fluctuation. However, Roanoke has been working very hard to revive it's downtown area. Here is the reason why I see Roanoke City thriving over the next few years and where the collective of councilmen in charge of Salem and the community need to dig deeper.

  • Businesses can see improvements downtown. That's a big one. The City is pouring their efforts into the culture and quaint vibe of the area to improve foot traffic. 
  • They have a plan! This is the most important contribution to the success of a community! Find out what people want, do your research, and implement a plan to give businesses a reason to continue working in your community.
  • They support people who support them. Even if they cannot monetarily support businesses, they are encouraging role models and encourage others to support them.
  • They place importance on diversity and culture. Roanoke City places importance on the diversity of its' people and welcome new comers to town with open arms. I have not quite felt that same warmth from the townspeople unless they are like me, from outside Salem. That alone will keep businesses away from Salem.
  Another component that seems to be overlooked is the fact that Roanoke Doesn't Suck moved into town, in addition to an existing page called Main Street Salem. This cannot be done for free and it needs to worked on a full-time basis to make these pages successful. There are resources already in the community for City Councilmen to take advantage of and support. It is essential that the councilmen become more involved.