I don’t mean to sound self-righteous in writing this Wespeak, but as I was wandering along Main Street this weekend, I happened to discover a phenomenon that is destroying the vitality of the small-business owner and the face of Downtown Middletown.

While Middletown is far from being a college town, we cannot deny the strength our dollars have as Wesleyan students. I remember reading a Wespeak article shortly after winter break, where it was reported that It’s Only Natural almost ran out of business. It hurts me to discover stores on Main St, fall in love with them, and then find out they are closing in two weeks.

Case and Point, Bead Street, a jewelry and crafts shop near Mega Wraps is closing down on April 15th. I went there to make a crystal handle for my cell phone holder, and was amazed at the selection of crystals and beads, and the polite and caring nature of the storeowner. As such, I was disheartened when I learned that due to poor business, she was forced to close down the shop. It is now one among many Middletown’s failed business, joining The Record Express and Ruby’s restaurant.

I am not writing this article to berate my peers on their aloofness or insinuate their inaction, because I am well aware that we frequent Main Street and contribute to the livelihood of Middletown. But as Middletown residents, we should be more proactive in supporting the businesses that define the face of Middletown, and to help sustain people that put their hopes into a dream, so they do not have to fall victim to the viciousness of corporate takeover and the market economy.

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