A surge of new small businesses has revitalized life in Georgetown Square, making it a more exciting spot for both Southwestern students and town residents alike. Several restaurants, including Jack in the Box, Galaxy Cupcakes, Yogo Bowl, and Monument Cafe, have opened new locations in the past year.
Keith Hutchinson, the public communications director for Georgetown, said that “a vital downtown Square is crucial to Georgetown since it represents the heart of our identity and our local economy.” Despite issues in the economy, the recent business turnover has shown the strength and adaptability of the Georgetown community. Senior Sarah Gould, a business intern at Galaxy Cupcakes, pointed out that “this recession has shown two things: quality matters and good ideas work.”
If you are a returning Southwestern student who loves ice cream, then you will certainly remember the Cold Stone Creamery in Wolf Ranch Town Center. Unfortunately, like many other businesses in the area, the ice cream store has closed. It has become a sad but common occurrence for some small businesses in Georgetown to cease operation and disappear.
However, in this cold case, a delicious, healthier alternative for frozen treats opened on Aug. 1, 2009, and has been booming ever since. Yogo Bowl, a self-serve frozen yogurt store with colorful décor, yummy toppings, and a cheerful atmosphere, is one of the many shops that have brought a new flavor of business to Georgetown. Susan Gerrard, a sophomore double English and history major, is interested in the new businesses and said that she “misses some of the old places where my friends and I used to hang out, but I am excited to see the new restaurants and stores that are doing well.”
Starting and running one’s very own business has always been the epitome of “easier said than done.” It is not difficult to come up with a good or service that could turn into a profitable enterprise. Putting an idea on the market and actually developing a method of providing that product requires time, money and a big risk on the entrepreneur’s part. Lately, the Georgetown area has been especially prevalent to the rise and fall of many different small businesses.
Jen Durheim, a recent graduate of Southwestern, was greatly dismayed to find out that one of her favorite spots, a sports grill called The Loading Dock, was no longer in business. According to industry analyst Max Fallek, the mains reasons which prevent enterprises from succeeding are “lack of funds, declining industry, poor location, insufficient marketing, and inadequate customer relations.” When one looks at the nation’s current financial status, it is understandable why lack of income is a leading cause. Nonetheless, many businesses are doing quite well by catering to the college crowd.
Cherie Gilbert, co-owner of Galaxy Cupcakes, was kind enough to share her secrets for commercial success. “Later hours, outdoor seating, and music on the weekends,” she explained, “will hopefully encourage college kids to just hang out and have fun. We will also have coffee, espresso, gelato, baked goods, and even a grab‘n go deli and salad section for a quick lunch before class.” Gould is full of praise for the novel idea of a cupcake bakery. “It is a business concept that gives people the opportunity to slow down, enjoy a yummy treat, and take a breather from life’s busy schedules. Who doesn’t love cupcakes?” she raved.
Georgetown is quickly proving to be a great place to explore and enjoy something besides food from the dining hall. “It’s a whole new world,” said first year Jonny McAtee. “Yogo Bowl is a place that my suitemates often frequent when they need a break from studying.”
Even amidst store closings and economic recessions, Georgetown has managed to flourish with new restaurants and fresh business ideas. As Hutchinson said “the success of all businesses on the Square, especially the restaurants, is intertwined with events like festivals, Market Days, First Fridays, and other events, each of which bring people to our historic Square.”