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Retail consultant Bob Phibbs gives perspective on Main Street

Bob Phibbs, author of "The Retail Doctors Guide to Growing Your Business” and CEO of the Retail Doctor website, answers questions following his recent trip to Oklahoma City for the National Main Streets Conference.

Oklahoman Published: May 12, 2010
Consultant offers main street advice

Q: You were in Oklahoma City last week for the National Main Streets Conference. What did you learn about Oklahoma?

A: Wow, you guys have a vibrant city center — and wind! I liked all the restaurants in Bricktown and visited Cattlemen’s Steakhouse in Stockyards City. The Oklahoma City National Memorial was striking and an important reminder of how we stand on a lot of people’s shoulders to enjoy the lives we do.

Q: How are Main Streets changing across the country?

A: There is a renewed emphasis on downtown because it is what gives each community its character. You don’t get that from a concrete, tilt-up big-box development. It’s no wonder the National Trust for Historic Preservation is behind the excellent Main Street program because America’s foundation for greatness has come from preserving the past. ... I teach that the key to any Main Street program is to remove the idea of "independent business” and understand it is "interdependent” businesses. Originally, Main Street had the saloon, the hotel, the livery, the general store, the church — all of the services — because they all needed each other.


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