Save The Pooch!

My name is Helen Turner.

I am the owner of Shampooch, a self-service dog wash and full service dog grooming business in Wheat Ridge, CO., at 7250 W. 38th Ave. just east of Wadsworth.

There are two things I want to do. First is relocating Shampooch. The second is to make it my mission to get out in front of this issue of paying lip service to the lives and livelihoods of small business owners everywhere.

I would like you to read this because this is my story: of self-determination, hard work, principled convictions and a personal work ethic that was destroyed overnight by political cronyism. My American Dream:you're American Dream--crushed by the hypocrisy of a self-serving Wheat Ridge City Council member, and an all too obliging cast of supporting officials that are willing to turn a blind eye towards their own laws, common sense and good business practices when there is a good opportunity to be exploited.
In 2007, I took a leap of faith and purchased a previously unsuccessful grooming and bath business that was located in an old multi-tenant building that was mostly unoccupied at the time. As a single parent, I had to make sure that my choice to start my own business would not jeopardize my family's safety. Friends and family recognized my sincere passion for working with animals and were aware of my lifelong dream to own my own grooming and bathing facility. They stood by me every step of the way.
My business not only survived but managed to grow during the horrible economic marketplace since 2008. Little by little, I grew my business and I was looking forward to celebrating my 7th year in business in 2014.

In September of 2013, the building which Shampooch, and 5 other businesses operate from was sold. On January 10th, 2014 I received a notice to vacate the property on the 15th of February, 2014. This came as a shock to me, as you will see how this all played out.
I was aware of the sale of the property in September By a "Welcome New Tenant" letter and I had a conversation with the new owner Joe Demott. During that discussion,
Mr. Demott made me feel secure that my business was welcomed and not in jeopardy. The other tenants were given an opportunity to sign a new lease agreements and one tenant was assisted in relocating. The open lines of communication afforded to the other businesses were not offered to me.

At the time of my eviction 4-months later Mr. Demott told me;  he was  replacing Shampooch for a Pub. Incidentally Shampooch is located across the street from a Middle School!
The irony here is that Mr. Demott was the President of the Wheat Ridge business district, commissioned with the Housing Authority and a City Council Member whose platform was "Small Business" and he owns Pietra's pizza. Mr. Demott was quoted in the Wheat Ridge Gazzett as saying ":But with all these obstacles dividing us, we have the glue that keeps us working together. By actively engaging citizens with business owners it allows each to make meaningful contributions to the community." He went on to say that "While other parts of the city [Wheat Ridge] seems to be pitting neighbor against neighbor and forcing businesses to choose their own fate in a quickly progressing world, it's just business as usual in District IV."
I'm sorry but it's not business as usual for me. My life has been turned inside out while the other tenants"”who have not been here as long as I have; have been afforded the opportunity to remain solvent. I am literally out of work at impact. As our city representative's grow in power, I got hit by the crushing blow of greed and false promises. Mr. Demott has demonstrated this by running circles over my head and ignoring my cries for help, while all the time knowing the vision he had for the Urban Renewal Plan on 38th ave.

Yes, I have reached out to the city for assistance in relocating, but apparently the city feels content knowing that it's going to get a brand new bar while it kicks a previously successful woman owned business to curb. I have given much to this community. I have organized multiple pet wellness information sessions, extending my business with others. I sponsored contests in conjunction with the local gallery and have donated my time and money to help those animals in our community that do not have the kind of loving environment they deserve. And yet all of this falls on deaf ears when it comes to how this city views its businesses and more importantly what it values. I did not choose to leave I was forced to vacate.

 In order to relocate Shampooch I need assistance. As a one income household, who lost her business at the sleight of hands I simply cannot afford the expenses it will take to make sure that I am in compliance with everything that keeps small businesses from making a go of it. But I know I can, and with your help I'll build an even better Shampooch for you and your pet to enjoy, I promise; I will not let you ,me, or the notion of small business in America down.

Please visit me @ Save the pooch! http//
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Helen Turner 
Denver, CO
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