Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Times tough for downtown businesses, merchant may form association to garner more community support

One downtown merchant is considering forming a Merchants Association to help promote businesses in Jonesborough and to remind the community that “it’s small businesses that suffer the most” when the economy takes a hit.
Diane Rowenhorst, owner of Bone Ami Pet Boutique in downtown Jonesborough, said times have been rough for small business owners and pooling resources could help to bring in more business.
“Some businesses are struggling severely,” Rowenhorst said. “An association would serve to remind people that we are here in downtown.”
She said she has met with Town leadership in an effort to help downtown businesses, but “there’s nothing the Town can do to help us immediately. They’re not in the position to help us out right now with anything we need.”
Instead, what the shops and restaurants need is community support, Rowenhorst said.
“We don’t get that [community support],” she said. “Somehow the downtown has gotten a bad rap, but everyone down here could use some help.”
She also said that places like “restaurant row” and the Mall in Johnson City remain fairly busy despite the economic downturn, and that it is a matter of choice for people to come shop in Jonesborough.
The association plans to do promotions and is looking into nonprofit status. Some of the ideas that Rowenhorst said merchants have been floating is a family area downtown, perhaps with a playground or “green area” where people can walk around the shops.