The town I live in is, like many Northeastern cities, struggling. Much of downtown resembles an abandoned war zone, although there are pockets of prosperity, and a lot going on. Sometimes, it's just hard to see it.
I attended an entrepreneurs group meeting this morning, and I know that, while things are rough right now, this town has a lot going for it, including a very low cost of doing business, good roads and accessibility to the Interstate system, cheap real estate, and a local government that will bend over backwards to attract people and businesses.
Still, it's easy to just give up and go somewhere where there's a lot of foot traffic, excitement and "buzz". 20 miles up the road, there's a town smaller than this one with a thriving business district, hardly any empty storefronts, and a supportive community that includes specialty shops, art galleries, cafes...all the things that make a downtown a true destination. I could easily double or triple my business by relocating. Granted, it would be much more expensive to do business there, but I'd almost assuredly do very well.
But I don't. I'm not a quitter. And I still believe in my adopted hometown. It's easy for me to look out my Main Street window and get demoralized. But I keep trudging along, because I still have hope. Some days, that's enough. Here's to better days ahead.