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Ada in need of more businesses

Walking down Main St. of Ada, one of the first things I notice is the number of empty storefronts.  Sadly, some businesses have a difficult time becoming established in downtown Ada.  This is not a unique phenomenon.  Across America, Main Streets are dying.  

However, with the number of consumers Ohio Northern brings to Ada, there is no reason this needs to happen.  Students have already shown their willingness to spend locally.  If only more could dedicate themselves to doing so, I think the Ada economy has a fighting chance. The key are those empty storefronts.  If only they were filled with college-student friendly businesses, the local economy would surely lift.  

By "college-student friendly" I do not mean more Chinese, Mexican, and pizza joints.  One of each is enough; Ada is blessed with multiples.  For foreign exchange students, it might be nice to have a restaurant that serves American cuisine.  That way, visiting families have a nice, off-campus place to treat their children to a meal.  A mid-priced restaurant would also serve the residents of Ada.  Local couples would no longer have to take their date nights out of town.  Visitors attending productions at the Freed Center could go somewhere nice for drinks and appetizers after the show.  

Another option for a new business would be a music store.  The instrumentalists at ONU have to buy supplies somewhere.  Reeds, sheet music, tuners, and even the instruments themselves could be sold.  If that doesn't supply enough business, selling vinyl records or other music paraphernalia would supplement income.

I would be more than willing to patronize a downtown business if I could relate to it.  Music stores draw people because music is relatable to almost everyone.  Among college students especially, music is important. 

It creates a linkage between people and serves as a common language.  Music stores serve as a bridge between the social and the commercial.  

What downtown Ada really needs is someplace that can be social without requiring that students spend a lot of money.  I think a thrift store/used book store/tea house would fit the niche perfectly.

While that description might sound confusing, I have been in one before.  A thrift store/used book store/tea house is a medley of enterprises that turns a business space into a cozy corner for the intellectual, yet broke Hipster-esque type that are so prevalent on the campus scene.  There, a person could grab a book, a cup of tea, and sit in an overstuffed chair.  One could buy used items to supplement their wardrobe or fill their apartment.

It embodies all that a college student could dream of:  a hot drink, a quiet place to read, a comfortable chair and cheap things to shop through.  It might be an unconventional business model, but at least there would be regular patrons.  

Though I dearly hope that someone takes my thrift shop/tea house idea and runs with it, I would be glad to see any new store fill in the spaces on Main St.  Whether it be a restaurant, music store, or anything else, let's resolve to support new local businesses.  I'd hate to see Ada's downtown die.

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