You know that gas line replacement project that was in South Narberth a few months ago, and has been recently working its way down Haverford Ave? Well it's about to hit downtown Narberth, and will be bringing parking restrictions and traffic detours to Haverford Avenue most weekdays for the better part of the next month. (It begins on Narberth Ave, "on the hill" and will close the bridge for a couple of days.)
Now your first instinct might be to avoid the whole area - but that's the opposite of what we need to do. We all need to make a concerted effort to spend even more of our shopping dollars than usual in Narberth this month. This is one of those times when we need to actually walk the walk - if we really want to support local business, it's challenging times like this when they need each of us to put our money where our mouth is.
Local businesses can't compete with big national chains on things like price, parking, selection, and hours of operation. Small independent stores only survive despite those disadvantages because we make an extra effort to keep them in business. We do it because these independently owned shops offer other things that we value - personal service and attention, expert advice and assistance, and the convenience of being right in the neighborhood. And as good community partners, they return the favor, supporting our leagues, schools, events and organizations. This month they will need us even more.
So let's make this happen - the traffic detours and parking restrictions will make it harder for others to patronize our downtown, but those of us who call this our downtown can fill that gap. Buy that new grill at Ricklin's (for all the reasons I mention here); get gifts for all your occasions at Sweet Mabel, Character Development, Swan Dancewear, Narberth Bookshop, Fuzion, Spots, Danny's Guitars, Twice as Nice (and all your other favorites), eat more meals at your favorite establishments, stop at American Family Market on the way home from work, and so on. Think about what stores you really love, and help them weather this challenge!