Town discourages small business success

October 02, 2003

Dear Editor:

Imagine living in a town that discourages small business success. A town that stifles and hinders a small business owner's attempts to succeed. If you live in Danville, Ky., that is exactly what you will face.

When we acquired our business last year we seriously considered moving the business away from downtown. We weighed all the pros and cons of remaining downtown and decided to give it three years. The business had been downtown for 19 years, and we preferred to remain at the present location. We knew that with very little street presence we would have to do some creative marketing. Recently, we tried a new marketing idea that increased our sales 21 percent. A few days later we received a letter from Planning & Zoning asking us to remove our small mobile signs in front of our store.

We paid a visit to the P & Z office. The staff was very helpful and expressed regret that they had to ask us to remove our signs. We were told if they had not received a complaint, the P & Z officer probably would never have gotten involved. Since it is a matter of public record, we were told who made the complaint.


Stunned would describe the way we felt upon discovery of the person's name. I won't name that person but since it is a matter of public record, you can get that information from P & Z. It wasn't a competitor, or anyone we are in direct competition with. It wasn't someone who doesn't like us or feels threatened in any way by our business. In fact, it was a person who has actively campaigned for the parking garage to bring businesses downtown. This appears to be a person who talks out of both sides of their mouth. Bring more businesses downtown, but let's limit their ability to succeed.

If we spend millions to build a parking structure downtown to attract more businesses, will the P & Z restrictions currently in place discourage interested business owners?

Our small business employs about 20 people. We pay a substantial amount of taxes to the city of Danville. I'd dare say more than the person complaining. We are providing income to 20 different families. If we lose customers because of the restrictions placed upon us by P & Z, some of those employees will lose their jobs.

May I add, the signs were small and in no way a safety hazard. They were placed outside in the morning and removed at night. We cannot imagine why these small signs offended or annoyed the person that complained.

In conclusion, we wish our elected officials would have enough backbone to change the ridiculous and antiquated sign regulations imposed on business owners. To use the slogan proudly displayed by our complainant, "Don't break our heart, let us park," we'd like to add, "Don't break our back, let us have our signs back."

Tom and Mary Ann Hollon


Little Caesars Pizza

Central Kentucky News Articles