Many small towns have a challenge of too many empty buildings or too many buildings used only for storage.
In one small town, the problem was an existing store that was using a neighboring building for storage, but had nothing in the windows. In another town, it was a building used for storage by a moving and storage company. They have just plain curtains in the front windows. Lots of buildings are up for rent, so they have nothing in the window except a “for lease” sign. None of these is adding anything positive to the downtown, and they actually make it feel less full.
To bring more life and activity to your downtown, you have to get something interesting in those otherwise empty windows.
Toni Henry sent this story of filling empty windows in her small town, and it’s one that any small town could copy.
In the small town of East Brady, Pennsylvania, (population 950) there are several vacant store fronts. In October a building owner gave permission for volunteers to clean-up the façade of one of her buildings and to dress up the windows with local artwork. The project cost our East Brady Area Development Corporation (a non-profit made up of volunteers) a total of $100 for a sign, a blind on the door (to hide the interior), several plexiglass frames for identification of artists and their work and small heaters to prevent condensation on the windows.
Since putting out some free PR requesting artists to participate we have showcased at least 20 artist’s works. The displays have changed often and the month of November we dedicated one window to High School art – great collaboration with the local school!. That window was changed out recently to holiday art. We are hoping to get elementary school art for February and the high school wants to participate again in March. The artists have been excited about the opportunity to showcase their work and show up to assist in changing the exhibits. A feel good low cost project!!
New to SmallBizSurvival.com? Take the Guided Tour. Like what you see? Get our updates.
- Move Your Money and Bank Local - March 22, 2023
- Using a building as a warehouse or storage in a small town? Put up a sign - March 13, 2023
- How to get customers in the door of small town and rural retail stores - February 19, 2023
- Check your small business website for outdated pandemic changes, missing info - January 31, 2023
- Rural Tourism Trend: electric vehicle chargers can drive visitors - January 15, 2023
- 2023 trends for rural and small town businesses - December 26, 2022
- Local reviews on Google Maps drive enduring value - December 17, 2022
- Extra agritourism revenue from camping, cabins and RVs with HipCamp - December 12, 2022
- Harvest Hosts attract vanlifers and RV tourists, Boondockers Welcome - December 2, 2022
- Holiday 2022 marketing: Tell your founding story - December 1, 2022
Love this idea to showcase artwork in windows!