I've been following the Facebook conversation launched by a friend in Pennsylvania who is considering opening a bookstore. "Try with all your might to find the tiniest, nookiest, very least expensive, spot to rent," one comment read. "Bookstores ARE NOT a thing of the past!" said another. And people had suggestions for ways an indie store could add to its revenue stream, as well as warnings about the hazard of starting a new business, any new business.
It made me think of Barnhill's in Winston-Salem, a newish store that's working hard to revitalize a community on and around Burke Street. In addition to books, and strong support for the small press (especially W-S's own Press 53), Barnhill's has wine tastings from regional vineyards, local art on the walls, children's items, fudge from a nearby shop.
None of this is new, but it is part of a pattern of local businesses helping each other out, making networks to sustain them and their customers.
It's like the local food movement - rely more on your neighbors and less on corporate giants.
On Saturday, I'll be visiting Loco for Coco, one of those small businesses that offers a superior product and superior service. From 1-3, I'll be there to talk books and chat with customers. Loco for Coco also hosts receptions for artists in its Lawndale location.
When I stopped there today (try the Key Lime dark chocolate bark!) I picked up a flyer that encapsulates this new business ethos. "Sustainability and the Local Economy" will be discussed at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 8, at the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 607 N. Greene St., Greensboro NC. Eric Henry of TS Designs will be the speaker. 
If you can't be there to become part of the solution for our community, stop by the website to learn more.

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