Local businesses: Step up
and join the game
By Charles Edwardson
August 15, 2007
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".
Received August 14, 2007 -
Published August 15, 2007
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