Thursday, May 31, 2012

This is a Political Post

I do not discuss politics for a myriad of reasons. No need to isolate readers and while I have varying views, I do not see my blog as that forum. But today something happened that made me think about politics and I decided I need to put it out there. I am going to make no sense as I am just going to write as I think and so bear with me.
I found out the local gym I have been going to is closing on June 30. This sucks big time. I have enjoyed my time there, made some friends, it is a nice community. Why are they closing? Well, it seems the owner's franchise agreement expired and while she did not want to extend it for a year, the company would not allow her to extend for just 6 months. Then the landlord of the strip mall where my gym is would not negotiate on the lease. As we discussed all this while working out this am, it came to light that a few other businesses in the area: other gyms and tennis clubs, are hurting big time. now, the town where I work out is called Chester, yes I am throwing this town under the bus for good reason. Chester will not allow any business to advertise with signs. Yes, you read that correctly. You can be in a strip mall, but there is not sign by the road to let people know you are there. There is an upscale shopping area called The Streets of Chester, but you have no idea what stores are present unless you pull in. This is downright asinine. If you put up a sandwich board sign to alert customers to a sale, you will get fined. Yes, fined. Cause this is what cops should really be concerning themselves with.
A local business owner is suing the town, good for him, because of their asinine anti-business stance. And that is what it is plain and simple. In this economy, wouldn't you want people to come to your town to shop and to spend? Instead they shoot themselves in the foot by fining those that put a sign up outside in front of their store to alert customers of sales, etc.
This then made me think about how Obama and Romney talk about jobs and small businesses. Sure we all want and need them, but when bureaucracy of a local town gets in the way or a greedy landlord kicks out a tenant like Carter's so they can bring in Country Curtains, I get really pissed. Just who is being helped here? Who wins? In the end it is all about making a bigger buck. Not about community, not about small business owners and certainly not about you. The people in charge, with political clout and cash are the ones who have the say and it is beyond aggravating. The Fed is far from innocent in our current state of economic disarray, but it is not the Fed destroying the local economy, it is the local people who live in and run the towns that are doing damage. Now is not the time to want to be all Beverly Hills with a mini-Rodeo Drive. People want certain stores, so give the people what they want. Most of us want a Trader Joe's or Wegmans in the empty A&P, but nothing has taken its place in over a year. We rooted for a Home Goods and got a Marshall's, which incidentally out of all the TJ Maxx family, sucks. A new yogurt place moved next door to Starbucks. Really? You take away the awesome Carter's store by upping the rent but bring in a yogurt store?
I am no business person, but I do not understand these current business moves being done in Chester at all. Upping the rents in the strip malls does not guarantee a tenant and it seems they would rather have the mall sit half empty then negotiate with the businesses that have been there awhile. These empty store fronts look just awful and sad. Even Main Street in Chester is hurting, but God Forbid they amend some ridiculous piece of local legislation about letting stores not just have a sign on their store, but advertise elsewhere. Come one, why can't someone put out a chalkboard saying SALE? You really think it makes the town look shabby? Jackasses.
And let me add that I do not care how pissed Shop Rite gets if a Trader Joe's comes over, just get them here. Then again, how would anyone know they were here if they can't advertise?


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