With so many vacancy signs dotting the East Valley’s retail landscape, it’s easy to assume there is no news — or that no news is good news.
But the truth is that work never ends, whether it’s a small business owner who prudently held back when times were good and is now turning the downturn into an opportunity to expand, a shell-shocked manager wheeling and dealing just to keep the doors open or a recent college graduate spinning his or her social web into a network for job hunting.
This new column will be called Talking Shop, but that doesn’t mean it will be limited to coverage of the Valley’s retail scene. In addition to reporting on grand openings and going-out-of-business sales, it also will look at trends across many industries and show how business leaders and entrepreneurs are connecting in forums like the local chambers of commerce. Because “talking shop” long has meant discussing those things that happen in business in general, this column will also delve into various commerce, workplace and employment issues when appropriate, as well as the technology that is driving — and following — innovation.
Businesses and budding entrepreneurs are using the shadow of the recession to create things we can hardly imagine, and not every headline should be a dark one. Talking Shop won’t be a boosterish column, but neither will it be a herald of doom. There are amazing stories of reinvention and hope taking place in our own neighborhoods — in fact, next time I’ll be introducing you to the creator of a documentary about downtown Mesa’s unlikely rebirth as a geeky gathering place.
If you or someone you know is doing something remarkable to reinvent themselves, or if you see a new business pop up or want to know what’s going on with the shuttered shop down the corner, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out on Twitter to @EVTMoney