People often ask what makes a commercial area special. Often times they phrase it in a question like, “I wish we could be like <insert tourist town name here> because all the businesses look so nice and everything is so clean and neat.” My philosophy has always been that every day, businesses make choices. And every day, people make choices. At the heart of every business – and it doesn’t matter if you’re serving coffee, or cleaning teeth, or helping someone with their taxes – are people and the way they respond to the public, to the environment and each other.
Last week I stopped at Tim Horton’s for some coffee. I think this (see photo) is the message that State Street is sending. It doesn’t have to be a coordinated effort to decorate businesses for Halloween. It has to be a clear message that businesses (local, chain, small, large) care. The people working at Tim Horton’s made a deliberate choice to spend the extra money and the extra time to decorate for Halloween.
The same can be said for the business owners who, when they are walking into their business and see a piece of trash on the ground, pick it up and toss it in the trash. At the end of the day, it’s not the beautiful streetscapes and benches that build a community. Those things just decorate it. At the end of the day it’s people who make State Street great.