To the editor:
I would like to comment on Mike Ribar's letter to the editor regarding his most successful business operation in downtown Steubenville ("Smart business tactics important," June 22.) First, I must say how well the letter was written, as was the one of Joe Scalise ("Hard choices in Steubenville," June 22), who composes such wonderful letters .
That being said, I, too, am a business owner in downtown Steubenville and totally agree with his business philosophy. It actually sounds as if it were taken right out of the late Edward Kelly's business class at the College of Steubenville. And, like any sound-minded business person, I try to implement these practices. However, I must be doing something wrong, because I just can't seem to generate the same amount of traffic in my store as the writer does. It certainly can't be the parking, because, according to Ribar, shoppers don't mind riding around the block three of four times to even find a place to park.
They must not realize that these spaces are meant specifically for those people who work downtown and need a place to park all day so they need not walk a block or two or who can't afford the $1-per-day fee at the Rite-Aid lot. It only makes sense that the customer who is spending his or her money find a place two or three blocks away to get to their destination. Kelly certainly would have mentioned this in his class.
Now that I understand this, I think that I must change my advertising campaign to include this - "Come on down, there is no place to park, but ride on by." I think that might be my new slogan. I'm sure that will work. When it does, I, too, will be able to put a couple of lawn chairs out in front of my store and sit all day. (I think Kelly must have forgotten to list that as one of the better business practices.)
I do have one suggestion for Mr. Ribar and or Mr. Scalise - in order to attract more retail businesses to invest in the downtown area, they might want to contact a company like Toys R Us or Bed, Bath and Beyond or maybe even J.C. Penney and pitch them that business plan. Just a hint -you might want to add that employee parking is free (on-street parking only) - that will definitely help. But they must get there early to beat the customers. I'm sure that with the money they will be saving on rent at their current location, and with the convenience of employee parking, along with customers having no where to park, they will jump at the chance to relocate in one of our many vacant storefronts. Then, Downtown Steubenville will flourish again.
But, I could be wrong.
Before closing this letter, I would like to apologize for complaining about the people who park on the streets all day. I thought it was you who was killing my business.
As always, stay Forever Young.