SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Year round business in Ketchikan
By Marie-Jeanne Cadle


November 12, 2007
Monday AM

I just returned from a pleasant weekend in Sitka. One of the most enjoyable things about my trip was the many stores and galleries open and catering to locals even in the winter. Sitka's year round population is about 4000 people less then Ketchikan yet it manages to maintain a vibrant downtown core with a much larger variety of stores catering to the local population than we have here in Ketchikan. Yet we have more people.

As Charles Edwardson mentioned, it takes more than willingness to keep a store open here year round, it takes money and lots of it. That money is initially provided by the store owner to open the store. For the store to be viable and keep operating year round the money must begin to come from the customers in the form of purchases. Customers that live right here in Ketchikan and shop "local" year round.

In my 9 years here I have seen many stores try to stay open in the winter. They almost always close after one winter. Why? Not enough locals shop in them. Even after they (locals) have spent months telling the owner how they hope the store will stay open and promising to shop there when it's less busy in the winter. They don't shop, they don't spend, they don't leave the money necessary to keep the store open.

To those of you who complain about jewelry stores, I say vote with your dollars by starting your own local business and by spending money in those stores that are open year round.

Marie-Jeanne Cadle
Ketchikan, AK

About: "Local business owner & local artist"

Received November 10, 2007 - Published November 12, 2007


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