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Downtown Starbucks Opposition Grows

by Louisa Hufstader | Editor Napa Patch

Some downtown merchants are lending their voices to a growing movement to ask city leaders for limits on formula businesses. We'll hear more at tonight's city council meeting.

The public comment period at tonight's Napa City Council meeting could take a little longer than usual: A determined group of local activists has enlisted a number of downtown merchants in an effort to persuade city officials to set limits on what chain-owned,
"formula" businesses can set up shop downtown.

An article in the Napa Valley Register quotes the owners of downtown businesses Sushi Mambo and Betty's Girl Boutique as supporting the Napa Local group in opposition to corporate chain retailers downtown.

Napa Local was formed in December, 2011, following reports that a Starbucks coffee shop might come to the First and Main street storefront now occupied by The EyeWorks, which is relocating.

Writes Napa Local member Julio Soriano, who used Napa Patch to publicize the group's planned appearance at tonight's meeting:

City Council needs to hear that our community is concerned for the future of our downtown. Will we allow corporate chains to practice predatory business by moving in front of other long-time local businesses? What are major economic benefits of local business?
What will our downtown look like in 10 or 20 years? Will it be a strip mall or a unique downtown for Napa Valley?

We would like City Council to officially discuss this by adding it as an item to their agenda.
We come to city council to share our concerns about the dangers of unchecked formula business proliferation.We want to revitalize Downtown, culturally and economically, for ourselves and for our visitors.
"The large corporate chains, will come in; but we, as a community, should not allow that trend to happen unchecked and uncontrolled. The future of downtown Napa should not merely be sold to the highest bidder without consideration of the impact."
Please be present to show support and if you would like, come up to the mic during public comment and share your concerns.

Tonight's council meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. For the complete agenda with links to supporting documents, please see City Council Agenda, March 6.  

Louisa Hufstader is Editor of Napa Patch an online source of comprehensive local coverage of Napa, California. Featuring news and events, business listings, discussions, announcements, photos and videos. 

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