Recently the mayor of Salt Lake City attended the grand opening of Moosejaw, a chain store owned by Dick’s Sporting Goods, and was quoted as saying, “This is a new toehold for what could be a rejuvenation of small businesses coming into this northern part of the 9th & 9th neighborhood.”
As a long time, small business owner in the 9th & 9th neighborhood, I sighed. There could not be a more oxymoronic statement trying to tie small business to a corporation with a $9.2 billion market cap.
What makes this even more disappointing is to juxtapose this against the difficulties all businesses along the 9th South corridor have felt throughout the disruptive construction of the 9-Line corridor.
While we are all excited for investment in infrastructure, what has been difficult is the city’s lack of concern and action for the impact that businesses have felt.
In the last few months, owners within our business district raised concerns with the city regarding the construction running very much behind schedule. If the delays continued, we voiced concerns about serious impacts that would be felt in the all-important holiday shopping season.
Unfortunately, the city’s response basically boiled down to, “well, you just have to deal with it.” And here we are, days before Thanksgiving weekend with construction and the district still in disarray, behind schedule and we are looking at a stop work date for construction for the winter.
While development and business growth should always be a focus, it would be nice to see Salt Lake City shift some of their focus to working with and supporting the long-standing businesses that have been a part of this community for years or decades.
Come on Salt Lake City, you are better than this.
Alison Littlefield, Owner, Contender Bicycles, Salt Lake City / Park City