Our view: Open for business support

About a month ago, on March 5, we wrote about how students should get more involved in what will be built in downtown Kent. We’ve got great news – a student will soon get the chance to open his or her own business downtown.

Kent State owns two spots that are part of the Phoenix Project and has already filled one of the spaces. The second spot will go to the winner of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation’s retail competition.

Seven prospective student businesses are finalists in the competition, which means downtown could be seeing a new clothing store, gallery or even a fair trade store. The winner will receive a recognition certificate and $500 cash prize. But the bigger prize will go to the community at large.

We applaud the university’s decision to use one of their two spots to become a student-run business. Not only will this help students get first-hand, real-life experience in starting and running a store, but students in the area (even those not involved in the store) will feel a greater bond to the downtown area.

It’s difficult to feel a connection with a town (and let’s just go ahead and call this a college town) when the only businesses a student feels truly welcome in are the bars where week after week students empty their wallets.

But if you tell students they should shop somewhere because the kid who sits across from them in Seven Ideas that Shook the Universe started the business, then there is a much better chance it will get local support. Even the local non-student residents will most likely be happy to shop at the store, giving a hand to passionate students just trying to keep their heads above water.

We can’t deny that starting a business in these hard economic times is without a doubt a tough feat, and to give it to a student who most likely hasn’t started a business before in their 20-odd years on the Earth is cause for a little concern – so they will really need to rely on other students to go support this endeavor.

Whoever gets chosen, we wish them the best of luck and are excited to visit the new store and see everything it has to offer. We hope the economy won’t keep them up too much at night, and we hope the other businesses in downtown Kent don’t get too jealous when we all come out in support of our classmates.

Everyone deserves a chance to follow his or her dreams and if there are still entrepreneurs out there trying their hardest to follow theirs, kudos to them. Just as we hope everyone continues to use the Daily Kent Stater, TV2 and KentNewsNet, along with other student media, we hope everyone will go to the new store.

It’s a tough time, but while we’re all still in college and able to support each other as much as we can, let’s take that and run with it and get as far as we can.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.