June 30, 2009
Have we seen the end of the big wave of business closures in Issaquah? We can only hope so.While we lament the loss of Albertsons, Pacific Fabrics, Linens ‘n Things, Joe’s, Allen’s Furniture, the Iris Grill and a smattering of other Issaquah businesses, there is good news.
In the past months, we’ve seen the opening of Tutta Bella, Zeek’s Pizza, Frankie’s Pizza, Time Out Sports Bar, Newport Way Storage, X Marks the Tot and Wild Salmon Seafood. Coming soon are businesses including Billy Bob’s BBQ, Gemini Seafood Market, 24-Hour Fitness and Bartell Drugs.
While the losses have been significant, Issaquah can’t be held down for long. Empty storefronts create opportunity if the city has a basic good economic climate. Issaquah does.
While Issaquah’s varied commerce makes it a destination for residents in surrounding communities, it is still the local residents who are the base of most retailers and service suppliers. With the variety of stores comes a responsibility of residents to support those local businesses as their first option. There are immediate (although not readily visible) rewards for doing so.
The city of Issaquah enjoys a high return of sales taxes to help offset the cost of city parks and trails, police and fire services, road improvements, recreation programs and more. Local businesses show their appreciation by supporting school activities and charities. And commercial property is a boon for the school district, with each tax lot paying toward school levies and bonds.
It should be obvious that fuel and time are saved by shopping locally. Less obvious is the impact to your property values when local stores hire local residents. A high employment rate helps keep homes out of foreclosure, which in turn helps maintain your own home value.
Do support your long-standing Issaquah businesses, and be sure to welcome the new ones.