2016 a year of goodbyes, new opportunities for downtown Blacksburg

(Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

BLACKSBURG (WSLS 10) - Although eight downtown Blacksburg businesses have closed during the last year, town leaders said even more than that have opened or will open in the coming months.

Staples like Mike's Grill and Pita Vera shut down over the last few months and The Clothes Rack will close for good on Thursday.

But in the midst of the buzz created by these losses, Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. said many people are not aware of the restaurants, pharmacies and specialty shops that have opened in 2016, with more to come in 2017.

Seasonal population shifts and online shopping can be hard for small Blacksburg start-ups to overcome, which is why business owners are encouraging residents to shop local year round.

"It is always sad when you lose a staple that has been here a long time, but it's also an exciting opportunity for new businesses that are coming in," said Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. director Laureen Blakemore.

Blakemore also said the vacancies created by the most recent closings already have tenants interested in opening.