A round of applause, please, for all of the small-business owners out there.
The unfortunate struggles of small-business owners are at the center of at least two of our recent stories. The piece that serves as the cover story in our March print edition discloses some terrible news: At the end of March, Schmidy’s Tavern—a Palm Desert bar and restaurant that has been a haven for local musicians and craft-beer lovers—will close, barring some sort of miracle. Owner Dennis Ford told Brian Blueskye the main reason for the closure is the fact that Schmidy’s landlord, Realty Trust Group, wants to raise the rent 112 percent.
“I can’t sell enough beer to justify a 112 percent rent increase,” Ford said, explaining that when be bought Schmidy’s, the lease he inherited was a relic of the Great Recession—and now that the economy is better, his landlords think they can jack up the rent.
Improving economies giveth, and improving economies taketh away.
Government red tape can also cause small businesses problems. For such an example, turn to our newest Restaurant News Bites column, which explains the move of Bernie’s Supper Club—which burned down on Christmas Day 2014—from Palm Springs to Rancho Mirage.
For the better part of a year, the owners of Bernie’s tried to get construction going on a new building in the same location as the original Bernie’s, on East Palm Canyon drive just south of downtown. However, due in part to problems with city government, the owners finally gave up—and headed southeast to Rancho Mirage, moving to an existing building on Highway 111. Keep your fingers crossed for a late-spring opening.
It’s a proven fact that the more people spend at local businesses, the better it is for the local economy. Multiple studies and analyses have proven that far more money stays in town when said money is spent at a locally owned business instead of a chain or big-box store. While exact numbers vary from study to story, around 68 cents per dollar spent at an independent business stays locally—whereas only 48 cents stays in town when spent at a chain.
The message in all of this: Support and savor local businesses. You never know when a money-hungry landlord or an electrical fire will take away your favorite business—and you’re making the whole local economy better when you spend your hard-earned dollars at an independent business as opposed to a chain.
Thanks, as always, for reading. By the way, the March 2016 print edition of the Coachella Valley Independent is now on newsstands valley-wide.