Follow up: or why corporate welfare by government has to stop.

Back in June we heard about a new restaurant going into the transportation center garage with heavy government subsidies:

An Asian restaurant, Sa Bai, is opening in the space that formerly housed Chin’s restaurant in the Dayton Transportation Center complex on Jefferson Street. The restaurant and lounge will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, and late on weekends…

DeLanerolle signed a five-year lease for the space. He plans to invest $250,000 on renovations.

Sa Bai, which will employ about 30 people, is scheduled to open at the end of August.

via It’s hard to compete with the Government.

It’s now October and we have no new restaurant. When you give someone something for nothing, their word usually isn’t worth much either.

I’m not bringing this up because I care if the restaurant opens or not, it’s because our government was spending time unfairly helping one small business compete with other small businesses. Government was also taking its eye off the ball- providing government services to all.

If Dayton spent all of our time on the delivery of services, including making it easier to open new small businesses, instead of pandering for new business with payola, I mean incentives, we’d be in much better shape.

I write this today, as yet another corporate welfare/payoff for promised jobs shows up in the paper today:

Select Industries, a metal forming manufacturer, is diversifying from its automotive industry base and is working to acquire business from other states, said Timothy Downs, Dayton’s deputy director of economic development….

Mary Faulkner, a Dayton senior development specialist, expects the company to request funding of $25,000 from Dayton’s development fund and $100,000 from Montgomery County’s ED/GE (Economic Development/Government Equity) fund. Downs also raised the possibility of the company seeking money — in a 50 percent grant and 50 percent loan configuration — from the city well fund.

Downs stressed that Dayton City Commission has not yet approved any funding.

via Select Industries planning expansion in Dayton.

What good is shifting tax dollars from police to “economic development” if the company has to worry about break-ins, assaults in parking lots, or employees afraid to work in a “bad neighborhood.” It’s time Dayton focuses on delivering what tax dollars are meant to provide, not assisting privately held companies strengthen their bottom line.

Public safety is for everyone. “Economic development” as practiced by Dayton is patently unfair to all the other privately held metal forming companies in Dayton. Your tax dollars shouldn’t be supporting corporations, be it Select Industries, NCR or Bank of America.

I fully understand that this practice is widespread and causing communities to compete. It’s my job, if elected to lobby to the State and Federal levels to get this practice banned. In the mean time, I’d rather let our low cost real estate, water and workforce training start doing the recruiting for us. Dayton is a great, cost effective place to do business without any government perks, let’s work to keep it that way.

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5 Responses

  1. Ice Bandit October 6, 2009 / 3:56 pm
       Ya’ gotta’ love this story. Two immigrants from Italy chose Dayton as their place to build their dream. And in the 1960s, thru hard work and a bit of showmanship, they parlayed their downtown pizza shop into a small chain that stretched into the ‘burbs. But their signature shop remained on North Main, where Baby-boomers in their 20s marveled at the brothers abililty to throw pizza dough in the air and catch it with their twirling fingers, never once dropping the potential crust. Thru the years, as downtowned changed and then decayed, the brothers never entertained the thought of moving out of the center city. So how did the city repay these entrepreneurs who stayed downtown thru good times and bad? Why by slapping $1 million into the palms of a rival pizza maker to locate across the street. The brothers are still downtown making masterpieces of the pizza makers art yet the willingness of the city to throw millions at national chains at the expense of locals is confusing, criminal, and in the final analysis, unproductive…….
  2. David Esrati October 6, 2009 / 4:16 pm

    @Ice Bandit- I was against the Uno deal from day one. And- I still love a slice of Sicilian with Pepperoni- from those flying dough guys….

  3. Civil Servants are People, Too October 6, 2009 / 6:18 pm
     
    I appreciate that you are showing a little more understanding of how the game is played.   There is a lot of competition for a limited number of jobs.   Outside of downtown, Dayton probably has a tough time offering something different from Kettering or Moraine or Austin Pike.   

    This company is now able to expand and perhaps needs financial assistance to do so.    Any company in the same position can probably apply for the same incentives – arguably competing on a level playing field with those other companies.  

    Terms like “corporate welfare” and “payola” have very negative connotations that do not reflect the reality.    The incentive money does not go to companies that are otherwise broke (welfare) nor does it go to companies for the purpose of bribery (payola).    Are you suggesting a crime has occurred?

    Does it always work?  Maybe not, but neither does any other investment.   Look at the stock market.   This is just one piece of the puzzle.    There are many types of programs out there.

    These grant programs, no matter what city, require substantial private investment to qualify.    There are certified professionals across the country who run these programs.    Ultimately, you are railing against an entire system and Dayton is only one small player.  

    The idea that the entire system might be flawed is a legitimate point of discussion.   There is no need to slander your city to make that point.   Let’s celebrate a success story instead.

    Then we can ask the real question – what services are needed that are not offered?

  4. David Esrati October 6, 2009 / 11:03 pm

    @csapt: We have failed our youth in providing access to youth sports- by cutting our parks and recs programs to the bone. Drive by Delco Park in Kettering- or visit their Rec Center- and see where Dayton lost out.

    We’ve failed to make it simple for small businesses to open and operate. If I have $1 donated for every complaint I’ve heard on how hard it is to go through zoning and code- I’d have a million plus in the bank- need proof- go to Riverside and Siebenthaler and look at the flag painted building.

    Tax dollars aren’t supposed to go toward private investment- that’s what the market is for.

    We need to lobby at all levels to end this lose-lose situation. If elected, I plan on doing that.

  5. Gene October 7, 2009 / 6:14 pm
    You often talk about ending corporate welfare, which is great. Any plans on changing/eliminating our current bogus welfare system we have for individuals? Or is this a case of the hip trying to be hip to the urban hipsters?

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