First, Darrell responded to this post:
I'll answer that.If the context you were speaking of was the high turnover in the Chamber leadership, then that is exactly what I was referring to. Many on the Palouse, including myself, feel that this has been a direct result of strains created between the Moscow business community and the Moscow city government, starting with the James Toyota fiasco last January. I hope with the new council that just got elected, you will have an easier time than your predecessors.
The Chamber would be in favor of it. It is in our mission to be both pro-growth and enhance the quality of life in Moscow. We believe they are linked.
In fact, since you mentioned James Toyota, the Chamber did come out in favor of the city trying to accomodate their growth.
Additionally, when Wal Mart was looking at Moscow for a super center, the former Chamber Director ran a survey to find out how our constituents felt about "big box stores" and growth in Moscow. The results of this admittedly unscientific survey? Pro-growth.
As an aside-I expect that such a survey might be used again in the future to help us get the pulse of our constituency re other "hot issues" that might come up in town.
Incidentally, you are taking me out of context when you quote me saying "Its been an interesting year..." I was referring to the change over in leadership-Kimmell resigning, Mcmillan as interim, and their first hire only lasting 3 weeks.
Have a great day!
As far as the big-box survey goes, I'm still a bit mystified. There ALREADY is a big-box store in Moscow that has been a Chamber member for 15 years. Wal-Mart was simply looking to expand their operations. Are similar surveys sent out whenever a new business is looking at relocating to Moscow or expanding? I have no doubt that Moscow Chamber members were overwhelmingly in favor of a Wal-Mart Supercenter, as they have been in Pullman, but is free enterprise about popularity contests? I believe the market determines which stores will come in to town, not other businesses or the city government.
Then Darrell commented on this post:
A little grist for the conversation mill."...both are excellent investments in the local economy. What really needs to be fought is retail leakage out of the area." I agree with you 110% and that is why myself and others have been working so hard to get a Wal-Mart in Pullman. But I think you would agree, maybe not publicly, that is not how Bill London, a prominent member of the No SuperWalMart group, sees it or meant by his comments in the paper. He is following the standard anti-Wal-Mart "battle plan" by "presenting an alternative," much as we have seen with Target and Costco in Pullman.
Figures shown by a UI economist at the Buy Local kickoff show (I'm approximating, I don't recall the precise figure) that $1 spent at a locally owned and operated store puts about $1.25 into the economy. That same dollar spent at a local chain store puts $1.15 into the local economy.
As the economist pointed out-both are excellent investments in the local economy. What really needs to be fought is retail leakage out of the area. And, what needs to be encouraged is bringing in people to shop from outside the area (ala tourism, etc). Or, bringing in nonretail businesses that create wealth (Such as manufacturing, tech, etc), rather then recirculating the money that is already here.
If you really want to hear more, the kickoff was recorded and can be heard at the KRFP/Radio Free Moscow website.
Have a great day!
Moscow Chamber of Commerce
Thanks for stopping by Darrell, and please do so more often to share your observations with us!