NEWSWEEK Magazine had a wonderful story that is a lesson for Yelm officials:
“One New Jersey city has started to turn its Main Street around, but political operators from either side wont like how it happened.”
“But this year, Wilson [Stephen Wilson, a baker] persuaded his landlord to let the Sweet Life Bakery expand from its location into the Wells Fargo space. Soon Vineland lost a defunct mortgage office and gained a corner shop to buy wedding cakes or sip cappuccinos. Wilsons move was part of a larger growth trend: 60 businesses have been created around Vinelands downtown in the past three years. While some of those failed, the total number of businesses in the area has hovered around 230. But even as the nationwide economy has tanked, the city has managed to generate a buzz that has put its downtown back on the map. “We have comments from people [visiting downtown] that said I havent been downtown in years, says Gary Galloway, chairman of Main Street Vineland, a local nonprofit organized to help the citys downtown. The metamorphosis is unbelievable.
The story of how Vineland has started to turn the corner offers lessons for reviving small businesses on main streets across the country. For this rural town, it was about offering government loans to kick-start small-business growth and then rallying local support to keep those new storefronts afloat. In Vineland, as in many other towns and cities, small businesses have been the backbone of the citys economic growth, says Todd Noon, Main Street Vinelands executive director. (the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street program, the national affiliate of Vinelands nonprofit, says it has helped establish about 1,100 local programs to spur economic growth in local downtowns.)”
YELM OFFICIALS COULD LEARN BY THIS EXAMPLE.
THE CITY OF YELM CONTINUES TO TOUT THEIR SUCCESSES OF BRINGING IN BIG-BOX STORES & MULTI-NATIONAL CONGLOMERATES & CHAIN STORES.
THIS IS IN TOTAL DISREGARD OF YELM’S 1995 VISION PLAN, WHICH DEVOTES THE PLAN TO PRESERVE & PROMOTE THE DOWNTOWN CORE OF LOCALLY-OWNED, SMALL BUSINESSES.
YELM’S MAYOR & YELM CHAMBER PRESIDENT URGING EVERYONE TO SHOP LOCALLY MISSES THE POINT!
SHOPPING AT YELM’S WAL-MART OR LES SCHWAB, WHILE GIVING YELM SALES-TAX REVENUE, PROVIDES RESOURCES THAT WILL BE EXPATRIATED OUT OF OUR STATE TO THOSE COMPANIES HEADQUARTERS IN THEIR HOME STATES.
RATHER, SUPPORT LOCALLY-OWNED (PUGET SOUND-BASED) BUSINESSES SHOULD BE THE MAYOR’S & CITY’S CLARION CALL.