Hawkins and Co.

Small Businesses: Pillars of Our Community

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Small Businesses: Pillars of Our Community

Small businesses are the cornerstone of our communities, bringing people together, enhancing local areas, and contributing much more than just economic value. However, it’s really frustrating and sad to see vandalism, littering, and the lack of respect sometimes towards local businesses. Why do some individuals fail to recognize the immense value that local businesses bring to their neighborhoods?

An Example of Community Disregard

Consider the two pictures below. Notice something missing? Unfortunately, one of the plants from our planters was stolen just a day after we replaced it. This is not merely about “just a plant”; it symbolizes how such acts can gradually erode the fabric of our community.

I was recently introduced to an insightful book by Doug Griffiths, 13 Ways to Kill Your Community, and it’s a real eye-opener to how little things add up when you don’t try to remedy the issues.  The book is like a how-to in reverse, which provides a very different way to look at the issues that arise.  So several chapters resonate deeply with our situation in Pillette Village (and some other BIAs in Windsor). Let’s delve into a few key chapters:

  • Chapter 2: Don’t Attract Business

    Vandalism and neglect create an unwelcoming environment for potential business owners. They are less likely to invest in areas where they anticipate additional costs due to such issues. This not only impacts the economic growth but also the overall appeal of the area.
  • Chapter 6: Don’t Paint

    Maintaining an aesthetically pleasing environment is crucial. Beautification projects, which were delayed due to COVID-19, are finally resuming, and we are really looking forward to seeing our area transformed.  But having to replace stolen plants and deal with illegal dumping of garbage are not putting us on the right track.  These types of projects instill pride and respect in our area.
  • Chapter 13: Don’t Take Responsibility

    A thriving community is built on the collective responsibility of its members. When individuals fail to take responsibility for their actions—or the failure to act—it leads to a deterioration of communal harmony and standard of living. Remember no action is an action. 

Rising to the Challenge

But despite these challenges, our area, the Pillette Village Business Improvement Area (BIA), is actively working to counteract these negative trends, and H & Co is 100% behind them. The large beautification initiative that was put together a few years ago has already restarted with the placement of new planters with lovely trees throughout the BIA. 

So what right?  Except this is a small step towards attracting new businesses to our area.  This leads to more foot traffic and reduced vacant spaces – new businesses bring more activity, which in turn fosters a safer and more engaging environment.

Again so what?  We appeal to every individual who lives and works in this area to help us embody the spirit of Chapter 13 by taking responsibility. By watching out for each other and working together, we can deter unsavory actions and foster a sense of communal pride and respect. When one area of a community begins to thrive, it often becomes a catalyst for broader positive change, creating a better environment for all. And as a part of this community, we will replace that palm yet again because it represents more than just a plant. It symbolizes our resilience and dedication to improving our neighborhood.

Let’s work collectively to enhance our community, making Pillette Village and Windsor, a model for how small businesses and residents can thrive together. By learning from the lessons outlined in 13 Ways to Kill Your Community, we can build a stronger, more resilient, and more vibrant community for everyone.

(Check out the book mentioned above – Doug Griffiths’ 13 Ways to Kill Your Community)