“Hey, let’s go to Enchanted Surroundings after work.”

“Oh wait, they close at 5 p.m.”

“What about Keep It Classy? They’re closed too?”

“What about anything else downtown?”

“Seems to be dead after 5.”

I recently read that 70 percent of all consumer retail-spending takes place after 6 p.m.

Sounds like to me, these small town businesses are missing out.

I know they’re definitely missing out on my money because by the time I get off work and can get down there, they’re closed.

Recently I tried to go downtown after work. I needed to kill some time, and I wanted to check out some of the antiques or possibly do a little clothes shopping.

I wasn’t able to do either.

The only store that even looked like it was open was Lantor’s, and this was right after 5 p.m.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that it seems to be a lot of the same downtown, a lot of antiques and a lot of furniture, and hey, maybe that works.

I’ve also noticed several empty buildings, and I’m not even going to pretend I know anything about owning a business, and I’m sure it’s harder than most people realize to make a profit, but I have a few ideas.

Why don’t we bring back more specialty stores?

Just about everyone I know says, “I hate Wal-Mart,” but anytime they need the slightest thing, they run to Wal-Mart and wait in line for 30 minutes for that one item they had to have.

I am a fan of the general store and for other businesses that could be downtown or in the town of Halifax. I vote music store, comic book shop, arcade, pool hall, clothing stores, toy store and camera shop.

I vote for longer hours or being open longer for special sales during certain seasons, and not just Christmas. I’m talking about beginning of summer sale, back to school sale, etc.

Destination Downtown South Boston does all it can to attract customers to local businesses, and they recently rolled out a survey to try and see what you want to come downtown.

Not sure what type of response they had, but I certainly filled it out.

Maybe with time, I’ll be able to see our little town blossom once again, or at least see stores open when I get off.

That would be a good start.

Ashley Hodge reports for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at ahodge@gazettevirginian.com

Ashley Hodge is a staff writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at ahodge@gazettevirginian.com