Letter: Help keep local businesses healthy and going strong

Editor,

I support a healthy and vibrant business and residential community on Whidbey Island. My concern is that the squeaky wheel continues to get oiled to the detriment of the overall machine that is our greater community.

The wheels still may fail to turn because, while well-oiled, are no longer turned by the engine itself.

The ideal community includes all age groups, various income levels, with variety and options for nearly everyone. And some people need to be able to earn a living right here on the island. We can not be an island of retired folks.

When so many restrictions exist and businesses go elsewhere, who will be providing services that those left here, desire to partake in? Restaurants, stores, service providers etc. What will happen to the tourist dollars that help sustain us? What will happen to property values? If families with young children can’t make it here, what will become of our schools? And if we don’t have good schools, families won’t choose to raise their kids here. It is a vicious cycle.

Wineries are a beautiful and natural addition to our economy here in this rural environment. The growing demand, popularity and economic benefit of wineries and event venues is huge.

A nationwide, if not global, phenomenon and a huge boom for Whidbey Island.

It brings temporary visitors, which our economy depends on, via a positive, low impact and healthy way. They stay, eat, and buy because they come for a wedding, a reunion or just a weekend of wine tasting and relaxation.

These business are then able to support the community through joint support of other local businesses and the giving back via the many non-profit organizations that help make Whidbey an extra special place to live.

Communities that support businesses help themselves when healthy businesses, in turn, support the community. Significantly limiting the scope, number and thus profit that these types of businesses offer and experience in the way that is being considered by our government is detrimental to our community as a whole.

Listening to a few people while ignoring the economics and big picture, as well as the viability of those impacted, is short sighted and will hurt all of us in the end.

The whole engine needs to be considered. There are some reasonable restrictions, and there are unreasonable ones.

I implore our elected officials and the planning commission to flesh out which is which. Contact them with your thoughts soon.

Shelly Ackerman

Langley

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