The aesthetic benefit of such a ban is obvious. Hudson would not have to deal with businesses wanting to impose their iconic store appearance and signage on our main street. Such a law would also preserve Hudson's character by encouraging the kinds of unique, independent businesses that have developed here and ensuring that they would not have to compete with regional and national chains. The law would also ensure that Hudson continues to provide an experience that cannot be found anywhere else--certainly not in a shopping mall. And there are additional economic benefits. The law would ensure that wealth stays in the community. More than once in the discussion of this legislation, Alderman John Friedman (Third Ward), who is researching and drafting the legislation, has pointed out that money spent at a chain store leaves the community the next day, but money spent at businesses with local owners stays in the community longer. Another benefit anticipated is that a ban on formula stores would have the effect of capping the rents being charged for commercial space on Warren Street. Landlords might be more reasonable in their expectations if they knew that renting to a chain, capable of paying more than an independent proprietor, is not a possibility.
At the Economic Development Committee meeting last Thursday, the committee reviewed a draft of the legislation banning formula businesses from Hudson. Based on the discussion that evening, Friedman will be revising the draft. Committee chair Rick Rector told Gossips that the committee will hold a public hearing to help them refine the legislation before passing it along to the full Council for consideration.
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