Archive for Thursday, August 7, 2003

New businesses suggest optimism in Eudora

August 7, 2003

Eudora has recently witnessed the optimistic scene of new business opening or renovations of vacant retail space for new businesses. While businesses are not of the large community-changing nature, they are nonetheless encouraging because the economy, while showing some signs of improvement, has yet to pull out of its two-year slump.
The decision of Thomas and Lauren Smith to open Madame Hatter's is a very positive step in the hoped-for revitalization of downtown. The renovated tea room provides an attractive anchor to the city's signature downtown intersection and makes new use of an historic Eudora building. Another positive aspect of the business is its appeal to out-of-town shoppers. As such, it offers a small step in reversing the city's retail drain that has Eudora collecting about a third of the sales tax a city its size should. It's hoped the tea room's customers see other shops in Eudora worth investigating during that or a future trip.
Similarly, Shari Turnbaugh's new laundromat and cleaning service, soon to open in the shopping mall at 14th and Church streets, will represent one less reason for residents to leave town for basic services and perhaps take other business on the trip.
Eudora's commercial growth is challenged by the city's proximity to the retail giants of Lawrence and Johnson County. But the old Wall Street axiom of "buy low, sell high" offers an opportunity. An investment in the growing community at the present time is a bargain Eudora's new entrepreneurs recognized. Initial business may not be the volume they want, but their faith in the city's potential should pay dividends in the long run. It is up to us, the Eudora consumers who gripe about the lack of retail opportunities, to reward that investment by giving the new -- and existing businesses -- a try.

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