Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Friday, September 28, 2007

"Growth will take incentives, money"

Managing Editor Steve McClure has a great response to the "uniqueness" moonbats and "Buy Local" elitists in today's Daily News. In retail, it's all about the customer, and more often than not what customers want is what national chains have to offer.
Expect local-chain mix in Urban Renewal District

Solid research into the types of businesses consumers are looking for will go a long way toward determining what ends up in Moscow's proposed Urban Renewal District.

Public forums can be valuable too, especially when there's the need for a bit of public-private partnership to get things moving in the area between downtown and the University of Idaho.

But we expect potential customers will hold a bit more sway when it comes time to entice someone to invest in a new business that will sit in an area primed with potential.

That's really what the URD is all about - potential growth - and it has a major selling point in its proximity to both campus and the community's core. Potential is just that until someone ponies up the money, however, and as uncomfortable as it might be to some folks, there's a good chance the businesses that look to invest in the area will have some regional or national affiliation. In other words, they might be chain stores ready to invest millions into a new business in the community.

Community's thrive with a mixed economy, and local versus chain is part of the mix.

We have no doubt there are folks in the Community with good ideas, a strong work ethic and some moxie who are waiting to jump into the business community. We see those people open up shop all the time and mark them as a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit that makes a community strong.

At the same time, we recognize that the steps involved in starting a business on an empty piece of land can be arduous and expensive. The bill can get a bit daunting once you start tabulating the cost of purchasing permits, paying for construction, buying an inventory, and hiring workers.

There are only so many instances when an individual who wants to try out an idea in the local marketplace has that much money sitting in a bank account.

The URD and the tax-increment financing that comes along with it can provide a bit of enticement, but any entrepreneur will tell you it takes more than incentives to open a business.

It takes money - and lots of it.

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