Gonder: “The business most worthy of economic assistance is one that’s already operating.”


SIPS had not been open long when Jason agreed with my assessment of the street grid and allowed a two-way sign to be taped to his window.

November 17, 2013: Southern Indiana Paint Supply: On the right side of New Albany street grid history.

Unlike Councilman Gonder, I have not had any need for paint lately, but I share his sadness and dismay. I’m reminded of the numerous times I’ve heard the city’s economic development director lament the absence of any way municipal government might assist independent local business, prior to him running off to submit gerrymandered CF1 Forms (tax abatements for larger businesses) to council.

John explains how and does a good job, as usual. If Gahan and the Democratic Party succeed in kneecapping Gonder in the forthcoming election, he’s cordially invited to join The Resistance.

Fish Story–One That Got Away, by John Gonder (Gonder for New Albany At-Large)

A widely accepted proposition in pursuit of environmental responsibility is, “the greenest building is one that’s already built.” This says, use the earth’s resources which have already been expended in a good, solid, or even well-worn structure, before chasing after the tweaks and technological advances of new construction in pursuit of greater efficiencies. After all, even a high-efficiency structure displacing a usable older building, carries with it the sunk environmental costs of the resources, time, money, and effort of the original building. Even if those costs are not reflected monetarily, they are still carried as debits on the earth’s ledger.

An economic development corollary to that proposition might be, “the business most worthy of economic assistance is one that’s already operating.” Assuming the existing business is a positive commercial citizen of the community, one that adds value by delivering necessary and helpful products, services or labor, or one that by its very presence helps to stabilize a neighborhood or lay the groundwork for further improvement in a particular part of town, it may be wiser to focus scarce economic development funds on that business, rather than a different startup asking for assistance. It may be better to water a withering vine than to plant a new one.

I happened upon such a withering vine yesterday in New Albany’s Uptown area. It is the Benjamin Moore paint store at the corner of Vincennes and Market streets. I buy a lot of paint, and yet in the two years the store has been in New Albany, yesterday was the first time I’d been in it. So, I, and others like me, are at least part of the reason the store is closing. The gentleman working at the store and I discussed the sad news reported by the big yellow notes on the front door, and the cash register, posted to inform customers that the store will close on September 11, 2015 …