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Editorial: Greensburg business owners hope to bring home the bacon

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Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Westmoreland County Courthouse in downtown Greensburg

There’s a marketing tactic from days of yore that tells business owners that they need to “put a pig in the window.”

The thinking is, that will stir a window shopper’s curiosity enough to walk into the shop to ask, “Hey, what’s with the pig?”

And once you’ve got a shopper inside, well, maybe the cash register swells a bit.

Seems like there’s a dedicated core of business owners in downtown Greensburg willing to explore the equivalent of putting a pig in their windows.

We extend a welcome to the Greensburg Business and Professional Association, a coalition of downtown shop owners who want nothing more than to thrive financially in the city’s heart.

“You want to make noise, because noise wakes people up,” said Ed Sam, president of the Affordable Marketing and Entertainment Network. Business owners brought Sam in to guide the association through its infancy.

Downtowns have been struggling for decades, its grip on a reliable and repeat customer base tremendously loosened by the onset of malls and shopping centers. That circle of life continues, of course, as malls and shopping centers have felt their grip on those same customers ripped from their hands by the convenience of online shopping.

We like the spirit behind the new association. Choosing fight over flight takes a huge leap of faith when all the data to the contrary seem so daunting.

Continuing to tap the elixir of new, creative, even over-the-top events to draw residents and visitors to the city’s downtown district should be a priority. Reward the folks who show up with a good experience — from parking to food and drink, from the quirky event to the traditional parade and outdoor summer celebrations — and they’ll come back.

Of course, we understand the eternal question: You need more downtown to get people downtown, but without more people going downtown, how can one expect more business ventures to open downtown? There’s no perfect solution, but the association must continue to doggedly pursue the right mix that will indeed offer a little something for everyone.

There’s a solid core of entertainment infrastructure in this city, but it will take a great partnership to keep it moving forward.

The partnership includes those willing to invest downtown and those willing to spend downtown.

Indeed, Mr. Sam, it’s time for downtown Greensburg to make some noise.

And for people to follow that sound to its source.

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