Source: Sherman Publications

Letter to the editor
Lowdown on Downtown

May 18, 2011

What can we say? Downtown Lake Orion is under construction and local businesses are under pressure. We have received letters to the editor, notes, and comments letting us know what is happening.

Believe us, we know!

Our office at 30 N. Broadway Street hasn’t changed since 1905 – we have an old building. We have felt the booms, the foundation-shaking rattles like every other business in the district. It is tough going and we empathize with our neighbors. Foot traffic for retail business has been dramatically reduced while the streets have been tore up.

Here is what we have to say about the “situation.”

To the businesses downtown:

There is no good time to do what is being done. A project of this size ($2 million) is gonna’ hurt until it is completed and since it’s started, there is little good in complaining about it. And, while folks have legitimate complaints, nobody likes whiners.

To the governmental bodies in charge downtown:

If there are legitimate issues caused by this project, the powers in charge need to make danged-sure they listen to and go above and beyond in correcting problems. We are get the impression this isn’t the case. While protocols are being followed, government types need to use the old business motto of “under promising and over delivering.”

Make those business district owners feel like you care about them. They are taking a huge financial risk just operating a business in this town and they are now taking a huge financial hit during this reconstruction phase. Don’t only listen to their concerns, help them.

To the people of this community:

Don’t give up on us. While you cannot park as close as you normally could – don’t stay away from the downtown business district. There is parking! These businesses need your support. They are the ones who donate to school activities, community events and local charities. Now, more than ever these local business owners need the community to shop local.

We implore the community not to wait until the ribbon cutting ceremonies to revisit us.

When completed sometime in July, the Streetscape project is going to make you proud. Until then, realize the pain local businesses are enduring. Make the effort, show your support and get downtown! – dpr