I own a small eatery downtown. Every business owner in this area struggles to keep our doors open through the cold months. We look forward to warm, sunny days and the increase in sales.
The tourism season is our bread and butter and we must make hay while the sun shines. Recently, I have noticed a disturbing trend. There are more and more temporary food vendors setting up in our parks for every event. Fourth of July took the cake! I spoke to several business owners and we all suffered drastic decreases in sales from previous years due to abundant food vendors in the park. Absurdity: Three ice cream vendors in the park, while we have four ice cream stores within two blocks of Sherman.
I don’t know what amount of dollars was generated from the permits sold to mostly out of town/state vendors, but this policy is significantly damaging downtown businesses. The crowds that stayed in the park usually make the walk to Sherman and frequent the local restaurants and retail stores. The city should be doing their best to support the brick and mortar businesses who pay funds to the city year after year. We employ local citizens, support local suppliers; they in turn employ more of our local population. These employees then also make purchases that support other local businesses, etc. If this policy continues, come winter, you will have empty storefronts downtown. Every empty storefront is a blight that comes with accompanying problems, and is a deterrent to the local economy.