SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Local businesses: Step up and join the game
By Charles Edwardson


August 15, 2007
Wednesday PM

Ketchikan residents, now is your chance to establish any kind of store you want to in downtown Ketchikan. There are more vacancies and empty stores in downtown Ketchikan than ever before. The jewelry store initiative does not and should not be taken into effect as they are regulating themselves with supply and demand principles. The eco tours that have inundated Ketchikan are doing more damage to our area and the fish charters are depleting our resources more than any jewelry store ever will. Let's not "discriminate against" them and include them in to an anti growth ban, or simply ban them all together. This temporary business also closes all winter.

I have lived here my whole life and have evolved with the down town area. There has not been, and is not now, a shortage of spaces downtown for local businesses. It is just that not many local residents have the fortitude or vision to establish the type of business that will sustain the high rent that is demanded in a prime downtown location. And those locals that have established successful businesses in the heart of downtown Ketchikan did it the old fashioned way, they worked hard, and they did it without any anti business initiatives to help them out.

I am building a semi open market place in downtown Ketchikan. The owner has contacted local residents about establishing outlets in the market for selling local art, crafts, and tours whatever the LOCALS might be interested in selling or doing. Not one local has taken the developers offer to establish a spot in the market. So the developer devised a profit sharing strategy for locals only "no rent" but a percentage of the profits if any. Not even this could attract a local business, so it is not lack of opportunity, it is lack of effort by us locals to establish viable businesses down town.

So what do we want to do, I would refer to an analogy of dummy'n down, let's say Johnny can't read at the third grade level so let's just let him read at the second grade level and call it the third grade level. Or another analogy is having non competitive basketball for youth that cannot play the game "let's not keep score so no one goes away feeling bad" -- these analogies are a bit off the wall, but no more so than trying to level the playing field by cheating. Dummy'n down may make one feel good but it is a false sense of accomplishment and usually does not prepare an individual with real life skills.

My opinion does not count for much but I say keep up, step up, on the same playing field as everyone else or step down and clear the way for the people who want to make it on the own merit and hard work. And stop trying to regulate yourselves into competition. If you want to 'level the playing field, just step up and compete like everyone else".

Charles Edwardson
Ketchikan, AK

Received August 14, 2007 - Published August 15, 2007


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Ketchikan, Alaska