If business clusters affect perception; Rockford’s other issues are reality

Some city officials now feel that when too many businesses, such as check-cashing stores, tobacco stores, and pawn shops are clustered in an area of a given size, it may create an unhealthy business environment leaving the perception that the city has a poor economy.

As the city ponders ways to reduce the “perception” of these cluster businesses, real issues come to mind that affects the city’s economy – such as double digit unemployment, the fifth highest or higher property tax in the nation, or the ninth highest crime rate, the school system, and the lack of a skilled workforce.

Will cluster laws that limit these businesses coming to the city, reduce the competition with similar businesses now safely within city boundaries? Current businesses might see cluster laws as a distinct advantage to them by limiting similar businesses from entering the existing market.

Does the license process discriminate against certain businesses, with the city ultimately deciding who the winners and the losers are, with a business jackpot of license fees?

Additional businesses could influence the taxes on the residential properties regardless of where they are located within the city. Until the economy picks up, should Rockford be so discriminating toward any business willing to invest their money in the area?

Let’s hope the city of Rockford will have this conversation of the pros and cons as a community before final judgement is passed on new cluster business restrictions.




  1. Milton Waddams

    Hope the city has fun with the lawsuit that is sure to follow.

  2. Juice

    What are they going to do, force Edward Jones to have an office on Avon St.? It is sad that one has to drive by (no pun intended) “dollar” stores of several different names, endless check cashing stores, Stop-n-Robs, Taco Bell, lottery machines, etc. Heck, a BBQ restaurant couldn’t even make it on W. State. That is bad. Bottom line, businesses go where they can survive and make money. They should not be denied that opportunity, but the city shouldn’t promote new “business zones” and fill them with Dollar General stores either like they are doing.

  3. Arianna

    The city of Rockford should be doing everything it can to entice small, local minded mom and pops to fill up every store front. I’d love to be able to go to any other city in America where I won’t see the same dreary boring box stores as I can see here in Rockford. Beef-a-Roo is a perfect example of a local eatery where you won’t see another one anywhere but this area… and I hope the owners of Beef-a-Roo keep it that way. Think globally, shop locally is one of many perfectly worded statements we should all follow.

    However, in order to make all those mom and pops possible we need to expand our local manufacturing base. Wouldn’t it be a great day in Winnebago county if we expanded our local manufacturing base to coincide with it being the 21st century? But instead, the good mayor or Rockford goes off to China looking for ways to find jobs… seriously?

    The west side, which seems to always take the brunt of bad choices by the powers that be in Rockford, not to mention that so many assume the worse (I often wonder why, but I’ll leave that alone) would assuredly benefit from that in the long term.

    I suspect that the restrictions you speak of Ted are the least of Rockford’s problems.

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