Letter: No sign of support for small business
No sign of support for small business
"Signs, signs, everywhere are signs, signs saying do this, don’t do that." These are words from a ’60s protest song that are becoming relevant here today. Right now we have the board of supervisors and the planning commission trying to tell small business how to advertise their businesses, what kind of signs to put up, how big they should be and in some cases, what to put on the sign. In the 30-plus years that I have lived here, I don’t believe the board of supervisors has supported small business at all.
I have driven from one end of the county to the other on Route 17 and haven’t seen one sign that was blocking my view by being placed too close to the road. In fact, I find most signs informative as to where I can find a product or service. As far as the different colored flashing lights go, I don’t feel they are detractors at all. In the Court House area, or Route 17 Business, there are five restaurants, an antique store, an art gallery and the library, plus other businesses. But no one traveling Route 17 would even know they exist. In addition to the "Historic Gloucester Court House" sign already posted on Route 17, there should be a sign stating what else is available on Main Street: dining, shopping, barbershop, etc.
Small businesses in Gloucester pay a large percent of the business taxes collected here, including the high dining tax. If tourists or vacationers, even the residents, are not reminded of what Main Street has to offer, they will ride on by and with them goes the tax revenue.
As far as signs go, I do wish they would replace the two caution signs that were removed during phase one of the beautification of Main Street. They were placed about 500 feet north and south of the fire station. All it would take is an e-mail from one of the supervisors to VDOT that it should be done, and it would be done.
One other sign the fire station could put up for their drivers to see would be "Before leaving station on a call, turn on vehicle lights and siren," so people driving on Main would have some idea what is going on and stop before being hit by an emergency vehicle.
We have on one hand the board of supervisors and the other hand the planning commission. Both have thrown their hands in the air and said "let’s have citizen input on this." And I say they were elected by the people to do a job, now do it.
Place a moratorium on this for one year; get input from the business community and go from there. Why would you want to ask the rest of the community how businesses should or should not advertise? The business folks don’t tell the citizens how they should manage or keep up their property. There are a lot of issues coming before the board of supervisors and I do hope the members become small business friendly.
Richard M. Elmore