Empty buildings during the holidays are a drag on local shopping
Who wants to shop downtown when it looks so empty?
Car dealerships are an especially tough type of building to fill. Not many businesses need such a large space, and the layout of the space can make it tough to find a good fit.
What can small towns do to fill the empty building when they don’t have a permanent business ready to move into it?
Call the car club for a holiday display.
Not just dealership buildings
A car club display can work in more buildings than you think.
Walk down the alley and look for big loading doors in any empty building:
- Furniture stores
- Electrical shops
- Repair shops
In fact, many downtown buildings started life as something very different from what they are now. You’d never suspect from looking at the storefront that my favorite women’s clothing store was once a bakery and has a huge delivery truck door in the back.
Real world example: Mt. Ayr, Iowa,
Deb Brown spotted this real world example in Mt. Ayr, Iowa. The dealership that used to be located here has moved to a different location closer to the highway. They still own this building downtown, but don’t use it for retail business. While they aren’t going to open the showroom for the holidays, they’ve put a race car in the display window.
Since they don’t use the front offices now, they were leaving it dark in the evenings. But what a difference it makes to have the spot lights and the neon sign lit up in the evenings!
Turn it into an event venue
“Love this idea for your street, now add a coffee cart, some stools and a few tables… magic! Hey, why not add some Christmas parties in this unique venue?” Ken Burgin said.
Learn more about the SaveYour.Town video Filling Up Downtown for the Holidays
This is just one of the ideas we cover in our new video from SaveYour.Town Filling Up Downtown for the Holidays. It’s just $5 and available for purchase only through November 15, 2020.
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.