DCBA worried about “e-shopping”? They should join the community in opposing the sales tax measure

24 Jul

“It’s going to take the community support to keep the local businesses able to compete with some of the big internet stores that are out there,” says DCBA vice president David Halimi.


Well, I’d be worried if I were Halimi, Downtown property owner and proprietor of several long-time Downtown businesses. Sales tax eats discretionary money, and most of the businesses Downtown are dependent on discretionary money. But it’s the same for businesses all over town, really – people will even put off maintenance on their cars and homes when they are pinched for money. They cut their budget all over, not by choice, but because they have less money to spend.

I’d guess, like myself, the first thing most people cut from their budget is restaurants. If not altogether, they eat out less and they eat at cheaper places. One friend of mine told me he will quit eating at sit down restaurants in favor of “restaurants with a tip jar”. At home the family cuts the clothing budget and starts shopping at discount grocery stores. At a time like this, there’s no way small local businesses can compete with the prices at the big chains or online stores.

Of course, this hurts lower income people the most – restaurant workers, retail workers, service workers. They have to make corresponding cuts in their budget. It’s like a virus, causing a downward spiral for the economy.

I believe in supporting your business community, at large. Pricey Downtown businesses should not be asking for charity, they should be joining the community in formal opposition to the sales tax increase measure. I’d like to see the DCBA and the Chico Chamber make a public statement against this bad measure. Interim Chamber CEO Mark Chrisman has said he is afraid a sales tax increase would be bad for local business, but when I contacted him asking if they Chamber would oppose the measure he did not respond.

If you are, or you know, a local business owner or member of the DCBA or Chamber, you should oppose or ask your friends to oppose the measure. Furthermore, you should ask them to convince their fellow members to get a formal statement of opposition out of these organizations. The business community has a lot of pull with council, they donate a lot of money at election time and have a lot of customer clout. Let your business community know, this measure hurts you, and what hurts you, hurts them.

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