I’ve always found comfort in those words. Hasn’t each of us realized that we probably have more in common with each other than we first thought? I’m not saying that our likes and tastes are all the same (that would be boring), but that our basic hopes and desires look – in the end – very similar.
Over the next few months, I want to explore in more detail the Advantages of a Better Community, one at a time, in no specific order. These are, to me, the “common denominators” of good community. In some ways, they are reflective of the foundations that already exist here in Coraopolis; in other ways, they are aspirational. Some will resonate with you more than others, but I think you’ll agree they all are advantages we seek. They are the advantages I am working for each day. I look forward to your own thoughtful comments!
The Advantages of a Better Community: #3 – Great Places to Eat, Drink, and Shop
When I moved here 25 years ago, I thought to myself “wow, this town has such potential!” If you pass through our town today, and compared it to what it looked like even five or ten years ago, you can’t help but be impressed. Storefronts that were vacant and shabby are now filled and fresh. Many longstanding businesses have made improvements, and the best little grocery story in the world continues to evolve and serve well … Cash Market butchers still rock! There is an energy in town that you can see and feel, and the voices of those who believe our best days are ahead are heard above those who have stood by as critics and doubters.
There are many cities across that U.S. who have developed “artificial downtowns” because they’re trying to duplicate the authentic experience of small-town America. We have the enviable advantage of being an actual small town, with historic buildings, superior location, and legitimate growth. Our dedicated business owners need (and deserve) our support, and our gratitude. You can get just about everything you need in goods and services in an eight-by-three square block area, from coffee to crowbars, from a porterhouse to a pint, from snorkels to snow-blowers, and from antiques to advice on your taxes. If you’ve not visited every one of our restaurants and stores, you should. That is our call to action. And if you’ve ever thought of opening a business here: there’s never been a better time.
There is much here – and there is more to come. So many small towns in our region are fighting the same fights we are when it comes to community commerce. Let’s keep winning this one. Thank you to those who eat, drink and shop in Coraopolis, and to the business owners who make it possible.
Shawn P. Reed
Democrat Candidate for Mayor