‘Fail’ wrong word to use for business closures

Published 8:36 am Monday, August 14, 2017

Dear Editor,

Anyone who has launched a small business is successful, no matter how long the business stays open.

I was disappointed that The Advocate-Messenger used the word “failed” in its “Thumbs Down” discussion of recent Danville business closings. I’m sure your statistics are correct that one in five close in the first year, but failed? You also said, “About half fail within five years.” At what annual point would you refer to a business as having succeeded?

Email newsletter signup

Whereas the newspaper has no obligation to adjust its rhetoric, the Heart of Danville does. In his newspaper op-ed, HOD director Nick Wade repeated the words “fail” and “failure” in his discussion of business closings. Shouldn’t the Heart of Danville be more thoughtful in choosing positive words?  Word choice matters in business promotion.

The opening of a small business is a triumph in itself, requiring study, hard work, ingenuity, personal investment and adherence to regulations.

If you have never owned a small business, you should applaud those who have. If you are a fellow business owner, you should encourage the continued success of everyone. If you are a community leader, a positive word now and then would go far in letting our small business owners know you appreciate us in our efforts to contribute to the community.

Wilma Brown