Cities have same problems statewide

July 17th, 2014 by Ken

A recent survey of state chambers of commerce show that the major issues affecting business in cities – large and small – – can be boiled down to a handful.

The first issue affecting business was transportation.  No matter the size of the city or business  – – transportation needs were at the top of the list.  How to provide for roadways, maintenance of existing roads, construction of new roads and all issues affecting transportation was the greatest concern of business.

Nearly 80 percent of all products arrive in cities and towns by way of trucks.   Trucks use the freeway system to get goods to market and local the chambers surveyed thought government wasn’t doing enough to relieve congestion.

Whether its Boeing which has complained about the crowded freeways, or the local storefront business – – concerned that his customers can’t get to his store because of congestion – – transportation was the biggest issue facing business in this state.

The second issue of concern was homelessness and panhandlers on the street.   Whether it’s Olympia, Spokane, Centralia or Seattle, the issue of street people and panhandlers were second on the list of business concerns.

And the third issue facing business was onerous government rules and regulations.  Be it a plastic bag ban, an increase in the minimum wage or new fire protection regulations, business wanted something done.  And, they wanted a stop to new government regulations.

Anyone who has owned and operated a business can relate to these issues as stated by local chambers of commerce.

The question then becomes – – what can be done about it?

Panhandlers were creating a problem in Centralia.  The city council passed a law forbidding panhandling within 100 feet of an intersection or freeway off ramp in the city.   The police issued warnings to all panhandlers – – not tickets.

Panhandling has almost disappeared from Centralia.

Local government can take the lead.  They just have to have the will to do so.

Posted in Business, Government, Informational, Local Politics, The Real News

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