There was a news article recently about a new business planned for Sperryville. Comments about it . . . seemed to be divided between nostalgia and wishful thinking. The way things used to be can be tough memories.
The strong apple industry we used to have diminished years ago, farming has become more challenging. A major employer, the Aileen Plant, left years ago. So, changes have come.
The tourist component here has grown and become important for many businesses. When I-66 came nearby, it funneled a lot of the “leaf peepers” traffic away from the 211 route that used to provide tourist expenditures here.
At a forum type meeting at the theater in Washington, one speaker stood and related the fact that his small store wouldn’t be able to survive with only our county’s small population of shoppers. He needed the influx of tourists to exist.
That brings me to the wishful thinking comments (in my opinion) about the new business planned in Sperryville, comments that seemed to wish that a tourist attracting business not come, that something like an ice cream shop that people actually living here could enjoy.
Economic growth around here seems to have sprung up because of an entrepreneurial mindset of creativity and perseverance. Maybe a group of citizens — aside from groups already in existence to provide quality of living volunteer activities — could do the market research needed to get small business opportunities available, up, and running.
Maybe a group of people could attract investors, who could provide the startup incubation periods that have successfully been instrumental in other areas of our country in assisting interested entrepreneurs with good ideas who could grow and succeed here. I think there is room for both types of businesses, tourist and locally directed.
Maybe an ice cream shop partnering with another, maybe a year round bakery with locally sourced supplies. One idea can lead to another. The initial first step is the necessary one to start the process.
Who among us will participate to be a positive part of this necessary solution?
Who among us will support those who come forward with ideas and actions needed?
Remember to Shop Local! We can all be a part of any solution, no matter how small.
The writer lives in Washington