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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Death of Small Business, as Seen in Nazareth

It's sad to see. In recent weeks, four small Main Street businesses have closed their doors in Nazareth. Over $630 million in stimulus funds to the Lehigh Valley, provided no help to them.

Kate's Garden Bistro was perhaps the best place for breakfast in the Lehigh Valley. Kate, who owned and operated it for at least the last ten years, was also known for her exotic soups. She's a borough resident, living on nearby South Street. Declining sales forced her to close her doors.

Insomniak Theatre, once an outlet for local musicians, comedians, and artists, used to hum on Friday nights as high school kids swayed to the music. Like Kate, they could no longer afford the rent. For the artsy-fartsy among us, there's still the Nazareth Center for the Arts. That has the official stamp of approval from the Nazareth aristocracy and can count on the occasional subsidy from Borough Council.

Just weeks ago, women would park their SUVs up and down Main Street and grab their mat for another session at Kula Heart Yoga. Next door, Jenn's Computer Training and Scrapbooking Center offered classes. Both are suddenly gone.

In the meantime, the chains along Rte 248 are growing. Zoup, Chick-fil-a, and Sonic are reelin' 'em in.


Anonymous said...

People want to go to where the action is and sorry to say but not many downtowns have much action going on. Well maybe some but perhaps not the right action.

Things have certainly changed as noted and unfortunately there's more to come.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

What is the mayor doing about this!!!

c said...

You can't rely on the mayor to fix this. It is not the government's job, it's ours as individuals. It is sad but it is all part of what has happened in this country...we have become a nation of franchises and sameness. If we don't like it then it is our responsibility as consumers to patronize small town, Main Street USA businesses.

Anonymous said...

Corporations are taking over America, with the support and subsidizing of the REpublican party. The downtowns are dead. See you at Walmart.

Anonymous said...

At an LVEDC event last night, the keynote speaker gave an excellent presentation about how the future in economic development was redeveloping developing urban and downtown areas to create "walkable" redevelopment. Strip malls are dinosaurs, the future is in putting commercial/residential development in proximity to eliminate the need for cars and travel.

Main Street in Nazareth (which I lived near for three years) has so much potential and its a shame to see good businesses closing (I was particularly a big fan of Kate's (the soup was unreal) and am saddened to see it close.

Anonymous said...

For those talking about the mayor, he also said that government can't be relied upon to foster the development (although they can support it via favorable zoning. . . .). It needs to be the private sector.

Also, its not Sonic and Chic-Fil-A's fault. The responsability's ours and our neighbors. People shouldn't have gone to Kate's because they have a grudge against chains (let them have the Route 33 traffic) they should have gone to Kate's because she had a superior product and superior service.

The mayor didn't let those businesses fail, we did.