Business owners in downtown Canton say their shops need more focus. A group of store owners have formed the Canton Merchant's Association in hopes of bringing economic development to the village. Our Matt Jarchow tells us how they plan to do that and how the town can help.
CANTON, N.Y. -- In the past ten years downtown Canton has seen a transformation. Now the store owners who call the village home want to see the focus put on them.
"It's a beautiful little community," the Pear Tree's Brad Mintiner said. "It's the county seat of the largest county in New York. We've got five colleges in the county. We should be able to go out and get people."
To bring people downtown, Mintiner and other Main Street store owners formed the Canton Merchants Association. The CMA is still in its early stages, but town officials see its potential.
"I'm just absolutely excited that we now have a nascent organization in the Canton Merchants Association that is as interested in the downtown area as the Town of Canton has been for years," supervisor David Button said.
Canton merchants are hoping to bring people and their money into downtown by bringing new businesses in. And the town has a way to help. The town has a revolving loan fund for incoming or existing businesses. Providing an avenue for local store owners to come or grow in Canton. The loan fund currently has $35,000 ready to be used.
"We do have a little extra money," Button said. "If there's someone out there who wants to get started in business in Canton my word for them is we've got business and we've got money to help you."
With about a dozen vacant locations in downtown Canton there's plenty of room for new stores. The CMA hopes to start taking steps to bring them in.
"We don't need to go through a lot more studies and surveys," Mintiner said. "We know pretty much what we need and want. And we're happy to have anybody's input."
While downtown may look much different than it did 10 years ago, Canton merchants still see room to grow.