Three Rivers, Michigan (2016)
“What can individual people do to help out the downtown economy of Three Rivers? Spread the word that this is a good place to shop, so that others are aware of what’s here. Get people to change their shopping habits to support brick-and-mortar stores. It’s hard to compete with online companies because of their low prices, but those companies contribute nothing to the local community—they don’t pay local taxes, for one thing. Physical stores, on the other hand, do pay taxes, but they contribute so much more than that. They keep the community alive.”
Tom Lowry is the owner of Lowry’s Books & More, now Michigan’s third-largest used and rare bookstore, located in downtown Three Rivers. He has advocated passionately for small, independent businesses for decades. He also serves as the mayor of Three Rivers.