The famous country singer Dolly Parton had a hit song about a coat her mother made when she was young. It was made of many different patches. By themselves, they were only old singular patches, but weaved together, they made a beautiful coat.
Like any city, the city of Newark is made up of many parts. We have our citizens who live in our city, we have students and employees of the University of Delaware, we have many visitors and we have our city staff who assures our city services are provided. In addition, we have our local businesses that make our downtown and surrounding areas of the city so successful.
In this Mayor’s Corner, I would like to focus on the business community of our city. Often, we may take for granted those individuals who wake up every morning, some very early, to provide services and products to each of us. Whether it’s the barista, butcher or banker, each provide a thread of fabric to our Newark community that we call home.
Retailers like National 5 & 10, Formal Affairs, Grassroots, Herman’s Quality Meat Shoppe, Bing’s Bakery, Newark Barber Shop and others have been a part of our community for generations. It is through their many years of hard work that they have become not only a business, but an important part of our lives during those major events of life, such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries or sending a child to college.
The success of these retailers has allowed other retailers to make Newark their place of business, like Delaware Running Company, Bloom, Heart and Home, Little Goat Coffee Roasting Company and most recently Jerry’s Artarama and Hsiang K.
Like any good business development plan, you need a balanced approach of tenant mix, of which we have many restaurants with varied menus. In the 1-mile stretch of Main Street, you have a plethora of culinary delights from Arabic, Brazilian, Chinese, Irish, Italian, Greek, Mexican, Vietnamese and good old American cheeseburgers. Main Street has it all.
As your mayor, I feel compelled to make sure our city employees and city council present ourselves to be welcoming to new businesses in our city. It is also important that I work on making sure city staff and city council assist current businesses to be successful. We must respect our businesses and all the wonderful things they have to offer our community. They have chosen to invest their livelihood in our city, and it is important that we allow them the opportunity to succeed.
As citizens of Newark, we must all work towards supporting our local businesses first when we decide to shop, eat and have fun. A vibrant business community reaps great benefits to all of us, through an increase in our tax base for our city, employments opportunities, increase in real estate values for our homes and most importantly a beautiful community which shares a common interest in the success of all of us.
So just like Dolly Parton’s childhood coat, the city is made up of many parts. Each by themselves do not seem that important, but together it makes a beautiful place we call home.
Polly Sierer has been mayor of Newark since 2013 and writes a monthly Mayor’s Corner column. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.