“Downtown” often defines a city’s character and personality. It’s the center of commerce and culture, brimming with vibrant energy brought on by all of the people working, living, and visiting. When we travel, many of us search out the unique restaurants and indie gift shops that give the city its flavor or a piece of “local” to remember and take home.
Before COVID, I could not imagine any other place in the city except Downtown that I would rather open a boutique shop supporting local artists and artisans. Our central location connected us to buzzing office buildings, a bustling hotel with an active conference center, the prestigious State Capitol, a festive Columbus Commons, and the dramatic and historic Ohio Theater – such a fun, colorful, and historied hub of activity with an often-eclectic mix of regulars, locals, and travelers.
All of that changed. At State & Third, our small but mighty shop continues to hold on in the face of “less of everything”, but sometimes it is very hard to stay positive and keep the faith that eventually everything goes back to what we once considered normal. Some of our friends with similar businesses have had to close their doors forever. Others continue to survive and in some cases flourish from their community support: exactly what every small, local business needs desperately right now. Think of the places you love and cherish and how much you would like to see these places still around when COVID is behind us.
Spring is coming. The sun is out. Kids are going back to school in person. Vaccines are happening. We are closer than we may think to being back to something recognizable and “normal”.
Beginning this month, we are going to regularly share with you our own favorite small, local businesses – places that I cannot imagine not being there tomorrow. Through this, I challenge each of us to think about and find ways to support our “places” – Downtown or uptown, online or “in line” – and help make sure that on the flip side, we are going to have our places to go back to and celebrate.
Above Photo: Benjamin Suter; Below Photo: Madison Cole