Recently, we saw the image at the left posted by Clutch MOV. Like most small towns, Marietta has its share of big box stores. We have our Wal-Mart, our Lowe’s, and chain restaurants. Marietta is wealthy, however, in the diversity and quantity of unique, small businesses that call this town home. While we all should certainly appreciate locally owned and operated businesses year-round, National Small Business Week is a particularly good time to pause and reflect on the numerous small businesses we can patronize here in the Mid-Ohio Valley.
We’ve Got Personality
Marietta certainly can claim longevity as part of its charm. The historic value of being the first settlement in the Northwest Territory will always make the area unique. However, Marietta does not rely on the past alone to establish its character. The small businesses downtown have created a collective personality that differentiates Marietta from many other small towns you might come upon in Ohio and across the country.
Perhaps the best way to experience the burgeoning personality of Historic Marietta is to see how small businesses collaborate on First Fridays. An upcoming First Friday will incorporate a “derby” downtown. Representatives from various businesses will dress up in huge suits and “race” on behalf of different causes. Another First Friday is built around businesses hosting putt-putt courses in front of their stores or restaurants. These events do not just highlight the character that makes each small business unique, but it also highlights how this network of personalities can come together to create a truly fun and vibrant downtown.
It’s Easy to Eat and Shop Local in Marietta
A lot of people feel obligated to try to shop local and eat local, but they feel like various obstacles stand in the way. You may need to go to several different stores for what’s on your list versus going to a single big box store, for example. Sometimes the known experience in a chain restaurant just seems easier than experimenting with a locally owned restaurant.
Marietta makes shopping and eating local easy. Part of the convenience is that the downtown district is easily traversed, and the variety of eateries, entertainment venues, and boutique shops within close proximity of each other also makes support local businesses in Marietta a “no-brainer.” Within a few city blocks you can access several clothing shops, a few different hair stylists, photographers, make-up and fashion stores, and antique shops. The restaurants downtown offer a surprising variety of food options for such a small area, and moving from restaurants to a few shops and then on to a new restaurant is a pretty fantastic way to spend a beautiful day downtown.
While we hope you venture to Marietta’s small businesses often, we hope you make a point of exploring all of the small businesses this town has to offer this week. As the Small Business Administration often points out, small business owners are not just “running a business.” Their lives, and often those of their family members, revolve around the health of their store, business, or restaurant. Show them some love this week and let us know what you learn.