New Business Idea For Downtown?

Prince George, BC, Canada / CKPG News
New Business Idea For Downtown?

It’s a phenomena that’s popping up in big North American cities; using back alleys to expand business. But, a local entrepreneur wants to bring the idea here.
“In the downtown, we have 10,000 people who come here Monday to Friday to work. Where do they go at five? They go home. They go off to College Heights or the Hart. We’re so spread out” says Ross Birchall, a budding downtown entrepreneur, who sees back alley development, like that in Portland, Oregon, as something merchants can get into. It involves like-minded merchants developing the back alleys of their businesses with things like tables and services. A coat of paint and some lighting adds to the draw.
“In order to make something like this work, we need to keep people here. In order for businesses to thrive in the downtown, we need  keep people here, and then we need to give people a reason to come back.”
He says the only place where back alley development makes any sense is in the downtown. And he says a core group of business owners and merchants have joined forces in recent years to change the look and feel of the downtown.
“That’s all I hear is that we want to be working together. What a great attitude! When you have your business owners, your merchants willing to work together, but then you’ve got a City that’s there and willing to make things happen, it creates an interesting opportunity for success,” says Birchall. “You start small; if it works, great, you go from there. If not, you tried something cool. You tried it.”
He recently pitched the idea to Mayor Lyn Hall, who feels it’s a tremendous opportunity to make something of a piece of real estate that, largely, gets overlooked.


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