Local businesses need help

Published 9:26 am Friday, June 5, 2009

To the Editor:

It may sound odd, but I have always had a measure of pride in the Airway Shopping Center. Sadness in many respects, sure, but always a measure of pride.

Despite how the center looks, and the large vacancy rate, it is our local neighbors who struggle to keep it alive.

One company uses space for peanut storage, and a church had taken over four spaces and renovated the interior quite nicely. But when bigger plans for the Center were proposed, the county had deaf ears.

So it bewilders me how the county can then turn around and throw open arms to Wal-mart in Smithfield, which has never done a single thing to improve this county. Our county government has lost its marbles.

We have retail space here that is underutilized. We have retail space that is unappreciated. We have local citizens who fight every day to keep their doors open and provide a country style service that isn’t found in Norfolk or Williamsburg.

Our citizens and their local businesses need our backing, yet the county doesn’t seem to care, preferring instead to offer huge incentives to a company that is constantly sued for violations of laws in every state.

Why do we sweeten the deal for corporate monsters and turn our backs on our own neighbors?

I’d love to see this county bend over backwards to help our local companies grow and prosper.

Will it ever happen? Mr. Bradshaw, Airway Shopping Center awaits you.

Dave Lyons