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Drop The S.I.D., Try My F.E.Z.

I rarely go to Red Bank but I was up there yesterday to bring my 13 year old daughter to Red Bank Catholic’s open house.  Let me tell you friends there were A LOT of vacant store fronts there.  The highly touted “RiverCenter”, which is the model for Belmar’s “Special Improvement District” doesn’t seem to be working out so great.  I’m not surprised.

Politicians, including ours here in Belmar, can’t seem to get it into their heads that they can’t help business.  Business doesn’t want their “help”.  Government destroys business.  It replaces business.  It uses up all the oxygen in the room.  It’s been shown over and over again throughout history that business does best when there is the least amount of government involvement. 

Unfortunately, thoughout history politicians have been unable to resist the urge to meddle in business.  Vanity drives them to insert themselves into the affairs of anything that moves or doesn’t move.

I can just hear their sales pitch for anyone thinking of locating a business in Belmar:  1) You get to pay extra taxes.  2) You get to sit in SID meetings.  3) Don’t worry what the front of your store looks like, we’ll decide for you.  Who could resist moving here after hearing about all those benefits?

I say drop the S.I.D., try my F.E.Z. (FREE ENTERPRISE ZONE).  I would make Belmar the easiest and cheapest place in the area to locate a business. 

Lower taxes on commercial properties.  They don’t send kids to our school or use public waste removal, why do we charge them more?  We should be giving them a break. 

Ease all the red tape and regulations involved in setting up a business here.  I’ve seen what people have to go through to locate a business here and let me tell you it’s a real deterrent.  The S.I.D. will make it even worse. 

Allow the largest signs in the area.  This won’t cost us anything and will make business owners very happy.  Unlike the political class, I don’t find business signs to be offensive, and bigger signs make it easier for customers to find the store they are looking for.  It will also reinforce the notion that BELMAR MEANS BUSINESS!

If our politicians had been in charge of Hong Kong since the beginning, it would still be a muddy fishing village.  They would be bragging that since they were elected, count ’em 2 new huts had been constructed!  Fortunately for Hong Kong, it had leadership that knew to stay out of the way and now Hong Kong looks like this:

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