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Santa Barbara politicians sat on their hands — now businesses pay the ultimate price.
For the last 10 years I’ve been very vocal with my frustration at the city’s inability to be pro-local business. The endless studies, the revolving door at the Downtown Organization, the branding with Amazon, the insane permitting process, just the inability to take any real action or try any ideas. Meeting after meeting, nothing moves forward or gets done.
Now, directly because the city has not set local business up for success, we are struggling more that we should have during this crisis. Most of us are hanging on — but let’s be clear — when the PPP (Payroll Protection Program) and SBA loans run out in a few weeks, it’s going to be retail Armageddon.
We can’t survive with curbside. We can’t survive at 50 percent capacity. We might be able to break even at best — and use our dwindling savings to pay bills at home. If our politicians would have been proactive and pro business we would be better positioned to get through this. But they weren’t.
I watched the City Council meeting last week. The biggest news? They don’t know what to do. Agree on nothing. And, most importantly, if anything goes awry, “We have no Plan B.” That’s an exact quote.
It’s time to come out of your offices and realize what’s happening to real people in real trouble.
And then get to work. Do something to help. That’s your job. Start doing it.