In the last few years Jim Messie has looked at little closer at his business, Arthur's Jewelry, in downtown Bedford.
"Obviously nobody came through the last four years totally unscathed," Messie says.
While his businesses didn't take a big hit, he knows others in Bedford have; some have been forced to close their doors. However, Sue Montgomery, with Bedford Main Street Inc., is hoping to turn things around with a new idea.
"We do have a vital downtown. It struggled, but it is coming back," Montgomery says. "This is the time for us to support the central business district."
A sponsorship program will allow businesses and people to donate money in return for advertising. The money they give will promote downtown events and encourage people to shop locally.
The benefits were seen last weekend, when an Easter event in downtown Bedford used money from the program. The idea is to bring folks to the area to discover what Bedford has to offer and to shop.
Montgomery is also hoping to have a class like a boot camp for entrepreneurs and new businesses owners, to not only help them start a business but also stay open.
"We have had too many businesses that start and don't make it, and that is something we want to reverse," Montgomery says.
And Messie says he is on board with the idea.
"It keeps us significant and important and people wanting to come back," Messie says.