We have not been shy about the city of Scottsdale’s sluggish response to its critical tourism industry, waylaid by a pandemic. It’s supposed to be a first among municipal equals when it comes to ingenuity. Instead, it’s led from behind, performing as if concussed rather than with commitment and conviction.
Fortunately, one of its wannabe leaders, Scottsdale City Council candidate Betty Janik has stepped into the vacuum. Recognizing the profound despair being felt across Scottsdale by its restaurants, bars, and other small businesses Janik has proposed an innovative idea that should be adopted immediately by Scottsdale, all Arizona cities and ordered so by Governor Ducey, if legally permissible.
Janik described her bold, smart idea recently in a Scottsdale Independent opinion piece. You can read it here.
In a nutshell it is this: Since government is so restricting the ability of these small businesses to operate – including impractical distancing requirements – allow these businesses to function outside its walls on sidewalks, city streets and perhaps parking lots where appropriate and safe. In other words, if government won’t let bars and restaurants operate profitably inside – give them the tools outside – where they may have a chance to survive. And don’t take forever to study the idea. Do it. Now.
It’s simple. Allow these businesses to extend their own premises where food and beverage operations can take place. Restaurants by gubernatorial decree have already been allowed to sell liquor to go . . . and the world didn’t end. Neither will it with this reform. Indeed, it will be even better as more businesses will have a chance to make it, and by so doing, continue to contribute tax revenue so critical to local and state coffers.
It is not a bridge too far. This is a step that is desperately needed, and we thank Janik for suggesting an unorthodoxed idea for an unprecedented circumstance. More ideas like them are desperately needed.