Involvement is crucial

Published 12:54 pm Wednesday, June 28, 2017

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Town of Drakes Branch held a two-day visioning session to facilitate a conversation regarding the future of downtown revitalization.

It’s my hope members of the Drakes Branch community engaged in a discussion pertaining to the future of its existing businesses and the ever-plaguing question in struggling small towns of how to attract and land more business and economic development.

I agree with what officials with the Commonwealth Regional Council (CRC) said in that the sessions “are a very important step in developing a vision and unified strategy for the Town of Drakes Branch as it works to revitalize its downtown.”

Even more important, I think, is having buy-in and commitment from existing business owners, those on the Drakes Branch Town Council, and most importantly, those who live and pay taxes in town.

Unity is what it’s going to take to revitalize Drakes Branch — there’s no question about it. The town, the CRC and the few businesses on Main Street can have all the visioning sessions they want and all the meetings they want, but without involvement and commitment from those who live in Drakes that want to see the town prosper, true and meaningful revitalization won’t happen.

Just because the CRC’s visioning sessions are winding down doesn’t mean it’s time for the residents and business owners in Drakes Branch to sit down and wait for something to happen.

Those who want to see the town become a better place to live, work and play should be meeting, brainstorming, organizing and coming together for a common purpose of drawing more businesses into the community, along with more residents.

For those wanting more businesses, better lighting in town, improved sidewalks, more customers and an overall better residential and business environment, involvement and participation is most necessary and shows you care about what’s going on.

Jordan Miles is managing editor of The Charlotte Gazette. His email address is