COLUMBIANA — The city is full of happenings, but sometimes that can be a problem for local business owners, at least according to Amanda Bowker.
Bowker co-owns Pewter Peddler on Main Street and took his concerns to city hall last week.
Bowker said the city should be more mindful of street closures on Main Street and would like to see a community calendar put in place so events aren’t stacked on top of each other so often.
For example, just this past weekend, Columbiana featured the Dying Breeds Diesels truck show, the craft beer festival to raise money for Firestone Park, the Columbiana Fire Department’s safety day and Christmas in the Woods.
“While events encourage more business for some shopkeepers, this is not always the case for most,” she said
She pointed this out “bad planning” of two different events in the city this year cost her alone in the store “thousands of dollars”.
Those events were the chalk art festival earlier this year and the truck show this past weekend, since it was the same weekend as Christmas in the Woods, which is usually beneficial for their business.
“I have spoken to many shop owners and although they are frustrated, none were interested in attending the meeting. It is disappointing.” she said “Personally, I have reached a point where I am beyond frustrated. I believe in our city and I believe in our leadership. I’m not sure how we go about solving the problem at hand.”
Bowker added that he has repeatedly asked for the start times of the chamber’s First Friday events to be adjusted due to low foot traffic.
“It would allow stores to complete their normal business days without disruption,” she said
He suggested possibly using Sundays and leveraging Firestone Park for events to avoid long-term street closures.
“I’m not saying cancel events, just make some adjustments,” she said
Council members listened to her concerns and encouraged her to get feedback from merchants on a community calendar.
Bowker said he believed most would participate in a schedule.