Downtown Businesses See Fluctuation in Business

Lynchburg, VA - Over the past several years downtown Lynchburg has really grown, and is seeing more and more business, and customers. But even with the success, some businesses have not been able to keep the doors open.

Some owners say with the area's increase in popularity, some businesses simply can't afford their overhead to operate.

But others say a few shops closing down is just the way business goes. For nearly six years, The White Hart coffee shop was a hot spot for those visiting downtown Lynchburg.

But last week, when it closed its doors for good, many wondered how a popular shop couldn't afford to keep the doors open.

"The overhead has gotten higher, the rents have gotten a lot higher, you know it's pretty expensive to be downtown," said Thorne McCraw, Owner of McCraw's Furniture.

His downtown store sits right next to the now vacant White Hart building.

"Property tax has gone up, due to the people buying the buildings and paying pretty good prices for it which obviously runs the price of your building up," said McCraw.

But for him, he says business has never been better.

He says an increase in taxes, shows an increased population downtown, which in turn means an increase in revenue.

"My golly look up Main Street it used to be you could shoot a gun down Main Street and not hit anybody, and now it's loaded, Main Street is busy," said McCraw.

"I'm happy so far, but of course like any other business we're looking for more clients," said Val Nicosia, Owner of Absolute Bridal.

Having just relocated this year to his downtown location, his worry isn't the increase in taxes, but rather the access to parking.

"Everyone is looking for parking. But if someone just comes down to city center and they just believe they are going to have a hard time to park, once again by convenience, they will go someplace else where they know they won't have to look for a parking spot." said Nicosia.

Both business owners say there is nowhere they rather be, than downtown.

"I think it is a really nice long term move for us," said Nicosia.

"I think we are on the ups," said McMraw

Business owners I spoke with say they are sad to see the White Hart go, but they don't think it will be too long before someone else moves into that building.