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LETTERS / Find More Productive Ways to Assist Business Rather Than Busting People Flying Balloons

Dear Member of the Town Council of Banner Elk:

Considering town council will do what town council wants to do anyway regarding increasing water utility rates, the “proposal” is simply a formality. All business owners are not millionaires and most of them here are hard working owner-operators jockeying their finances to survive challenging seasonal trends. As the town reaches out their hand to share in the slim profitability of those owner operators, they need to extend the other hand to appreciate and support business. 

Find more productive ways to assist business rather than busting people flying balloons. Allow business to express their individuality and allow business to use promotional materials to help promote and increase their sales. Instead of focusing from a negative position of “you can’t do this” or “you can’t do that,” reinforce positive energy of what is creative and possible. A  “cookie cutter approach” to the appearance of business does not work.

Your failure to communicate with the county has cost you the Banner Elk Herb Fest. It was a growing event which now, because of restraints, has made it too risky for someone who was dependent on the weekend sales to cover the checks written prior to the weekend.

I used to make numerous donations to help town events, but now I use that money to retain an attorney in the event I raise the wrong flag. How about the flag I am raising here now? Your regressive attitude of preserving “our quaint little town” will inevitably turn “our quaint little town” into a ghost town.

Don’t lose sight that business owners are also community employers. They pay taxes, promote tourism on their respective merits and now are financing your water utility project. 

Wake up, open your eyes, smell the coffee, look around at all the existing empty business locations that are increasing year after year. Personally, after 20 years of doing business in this town, I am over it. Soon, I will be moving on to a progressive community that supports business and leave you with yet another empty storefront. 

Doug Usko

Zuzda Restaurant