New Smyrna Beach, FL - The reason for a petition started by a New Smyrna Beach small businessman is up for a discussion during a City Commission Special Meeting today. Mayor Russ Owen said he's already brought up the idea for regulations for chain businesses, especially in designated areas. He believes that a lot of people thought that New Smyrna Beach already had a rule already in place regarding chain businesses.
Owen said regulations on chain store locations are just one of the items on today's Special Meeting agenda and today, it's only a discussion. No action will be taken today on the issue. He hopes that the Commission will decide if they have the appetite to bite off this issue. There are a lot of details to work through if the decision is made to proceed.
The Mayor is quick to point out the fact that the city would not be banning all chain businesses but rather, would ban them in certain areas of the city, such as a historic district. Owen said doing something to protect the historic downtown area and the city's quaint commercial districts now will protect those areas from something many folks think could be detrimental.
The concern is, according to Owen, reaching the tipping point, where when you get too many chain businesses, New Smyrna Beach will be like every other town with all of the same stores. The chain stores already in the area would not be affected by the ban. Owen said the ones already in town are good community partners who employ a lot of local citizens. The idea is, leave the stores already in place where they are but let's start being more judicious about what comes in. He said that no matter where the Commission lands on the ban against chain stores, there are still opportunities for those people that want to pursue a franchise model business in New Smyrna Beach.
Today's Special Meeting is scheduled at 4 p.m., followed by the Regular Meeting at 6:30 p.m.