Here's an idea that we can definitely get behind.

Over the last week, there have been a few stories highlighting a few local businesses that want to bring back shoppers to the Northgate Mall. Located on the Northside of Lafayette, the Northgate Mall has definitely seen it's better years but instead of joining in the chorus of its detractors, these local startups are becoming the change they want to see in their community.

According to a report from KATC, five new stores are set to open this summer. Nearly all of the business owners are also members of the community who remember when the mall was thriving. Shoppers like Thelma Campbell remember those days as well.

As a child, this was our mall. We didn’t have any other malls, we came here. This mall was booming back then. It went down. Now, we need to bring it back and revive the Northside

New startups range from restaurants to a swimsuit store that actually started out as just a vendor's table in the mall. S.T.E.P. by Ranique owner Ranique Lambert said the new energy inspired her to grow her business.

When I saw the stores, I was like you know what, I want a storefront. I wanna be here. I saw the people walking through, and everyone here is like a family, all of the owners of the stores. It takes a community to help you grow and that’s the reason why I’m here. my community supports me and especially the Northside has supported me the most

Even longtime Northgate staples like Sweet Home say the new energy is exciting. Salesperson Donna Knott says growth is the goal.

We want to keep the mall open and we want to keep everything moving. This side of Lafayette needs to grow also, not just the other side

Instead of complaining about what the mall "needs to do" from the sidelines this group of local business owners is literally putting their money where their mouths are and your support is vital to their vision. Maybe you're a business owner or someone who has always dreamed of having a restaurant or clothing store.

Check out more information here and here to find out tons of great details on how and where you can support these amazing local businesses.

Also, tell us what YOU would bring to the Northgate Mall space to help it continue to grow.

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