Drawing Business To Downtown TRFMany mid-sized cities have experienced business leaving the downtown for more popular retail areas. Thief River Falls is dealing with that issue, and are trying to turn that trend around.
By: David Schwab, WDAZ
Traffic is steady in downtown Thief River Falls on this Friday afternoon. But there are less people stopping to shop here.
Michael Moore/ TRF Community Development Director: "Shopping habits have changed. All of a sudden downtown Thief River is faced with large open store fronts and people are wondering about what to do about that."
And that includes downtown business. This month they are sharing ideas with community leaders on what can be done to attract more businesses and shoppers to downtown. They want to tackle some of the reasons people are going elsewhere.
Michael Moore : "People are less inclined to park and then walk a block or more downtown. They are more going to Walmarts and Targets. And that doesn't seem to be an issue. "
There are businesses that do well downtown. Poppler's Furniture store has been here for 71 years. Though owner Jeff Hendrickson says he has seen some changes in the last 31 years he has worked at the store.
Jeff Hendrickson / Downtown Business Owner: "Our Downtown is doing well. I won't says for the better in the last years. Because we have seen quite a few vacancies."
But Hendrickson remains optimistic. He says there several programs out there to help entrepreneurs get started. And now there is a push from the community to breath more life back into the downtown.
Jeff Hendrickson: / "If we get the right people behind this project with business owners. Our chamber of commerce and city. This thing is do-able. "