When we support local businesses, we all win

We’ve been celebrating the first 10 years of publishing the Heights Observer by looking back—one month at a time—at headlines for that month that we’ve published over the past decade.

As I look back at a decade of Februaries, I’m struck by how many of the local businesses that were the subject of Heights Observer stories are no longer operating. Here are a few that you may remember: La Tea Dolly, Heights Guitars, Rockefeller’s Heights Floral Shoppe, Big Dog Theater, A Phiner Bistro, Katz Club Diner.

We’ve all heard that small businesses have a high risk of failure. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: 20 percent of small businesses fail in their first year, 30 percent in their second year, 50 percent in their fifth year, and 70 percent in their 10th year.

It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that many of those businesses that have appeared in these pages over the last decade are no longer here. (And the cold winter months are often the time when business owners make decisions to expand, maintain or close up shop.)

Whether you remember them or not, each business had a unique character that added something to the quality of life in the Heights. In surveys that FutureHeights has conducted over the years, respondents consistently note that being able to walk to a diverse mix of local businesses is one of the things they most appreciate about living in the Heights.

And, those small businesses that have withstood the test of time must be doing something right. The top headline for the February 2015 issue of the Heights Observer noted Nighttown’s 50th anniversary, and another story in that issue called out Stone Oven’s 20 years on Lee Road.

If you agree that unique local businesses are essential to our quality of life in the Heights, help us recognize them by casting your vote for your favorites in the FutureHeights 2019 Best of the Heights Awards contest.

Which is this year’s Best New Restaurant or Bar? What business exemplifies the Best Heights Vibe?

Cast your votes using the ballot on page 24 of the February print issue of the Heights Observer, or vote online at www.futureheights.org.

Need to do a little research before you vote? By all means, make a point to visit some of Cleveland Heights’ and University Heights’ restaurants and shops this month before you cast your ballot.

Voting closes on Feb. 15. Winners will be announced in the March issue of the Heights Observer. But in the end, we all win as we support our local entrepreneurs and celebrate the uniqueness that is the Heights.

Deanna Bremer Fisher

Deanna Bremer Fisher is executive director of FutureHeights and publisher of the Heights Observer. To commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the Heights Observer, we are taking a look back at stories that appeared in these pages from 2008 through 2017.

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Volume 12, Issue 2, Posted 10:07 AM, 02.01.2019