Are you kidding? The city now wants to tell those of us running small businesses in Aspen whether we can prop our doors open or not? Does City Council realize how incredibly difficult it already is to try to keep a business running? Between the insane rents with no relief during off season and the paying for anything and everything — including paying $150 for the privilege to put a sandwich board out for eight weeks per year and $65 for your sandwich board if you don’t have street frontage, and paying to have someone tell you how large your sign can be and where — this is a crazy place to try to do business.
I thought Aspen wanted to get away from the big name stores and that City Council wanted to encourage local small business. Telling us we can’t prop open our doors will kill everyone. We already pay very high electric and gas bills as well as ridiculous management fees for our spaces. If we decide to prop open our door to generate more business, that should be our call, and not decided by the council or mayor. (And by the way, do you guys even know what the small businesses in town are? We have never seen any of your in our store. Not even during our opening did any of you stop by to say welcome. Might be a nice touch.)
Maybe instead of trying to constantly make it harder for small business in town, you could actually talk to some of us and figure out how to help us make it. Just a thought from a small-business owner who is wondering if it is worth it to try to keep running a small business here. Feel free to drop by the Aspen Candy Company to start a dialogue. We love to talk and would be happy to suggest ways to keep businesses like ours alive. Small business is the heart of a community, but without change, Aspen will become a big-box town again very shortly. Let’s work together to figure out how to keep small business alive and growing.