By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
Bowling Green officials suggested local resident go big and shop small.
With holiday shopping season officially starting on Friday, Bowling Green officials urged local residents to spend some money with local small businesses.
Bowling Green Mayor Dick Edwards and new Downtown BG Director Tony Vetter took to the podium at the City Council meeting Monday evening to promote “Small Business Saturday” which follows this week’s “Black Friday.”
The “Small Business Saturday” moniker is an annual reminder of the need to support small businesses, Edwards said.
The annual shopping promotion started in 2010 in response to the recession. It was intended to help small businesses recover, Vetter said.
In the U.S., 28.8 million small businesses account for 99 percent of businesses, employing more than 48 percent of American workers, the mayor said.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving has become a very important day in the life of many small retailers.
“It is a break even day for a lot of small businesses,” Edwards said.
Downtown Bowling Green retailers are counting on local residents spending some of their holiday shopping money here.
“Downtown Bowling Green is so important to our economy,” the mayor said.
And Vetter noted that “Small Business Saturday” is not just about downtown and not just about this weekend.
“Shop small is not just this weekend. It’s all year round,” Vetter said.
Also at Monday’s meeting, City Council approved a solar project easement and lease agreement with the Wood County Commissioners and Wood County Board of Developmental Disabilities. The city is researching the viability of building a community solar field on property owned by those two entities on the north side of East Gypsy Lane Road, just east of Interstate 75.
Council also heard from a Bowling Green State University graduate student in public administration, who has been researching the financial history of the city in the 1970s when the city budget was very stretched. He mentioned that he has been unable to access some records, and urged council to preserve such records for safekeeping.
Council President Mike Aspacher assured the student that the city complies with all record retention rules, but said council will take the request under advisement.
Council members Bruce Jeffers asked the student to send council a copy of his research, and Bill Herald asked him to report back to council on his research.
In other business at Monday’s meeting:
- Council approved the mayor’s recommendations to appoint Justin White to the city’s Human Relations Commission, and Nate Spitler to the city’s Planning Commission.
- Municipal Administrator Lori Tretter reported that the Community Development Foundation has passed the $5 million mark for its business revolving loan fund.
- Council learned the downtown parking task force is continuing to meet.
- Planning Director Heather Sayler reported the annual Interfaith Breakfast has been scheduled for April 2, 2019.
- Parks and Recreation Director Kristin Otley noted the grant received from the Wood County Park District to help replace two aging shelter houses in Carter Park with one new shelter. The profits from next year’s Wine and Cheese Fundraiser for the parks has already been earmarked for the new shelter house.
- Public Works Director Brian Craft reported the work on Conneaut Avenue is almost completed, with paving to be finished next week. Some pump station work will be finished up in the spring.