We need your help. Small businesses make up the heart of Noe Valley in San Francisco. It is a charming neighborhood where families stroll and people from out of town venture to shop in locally owned restaurants, jewelers, clothing and shoe shops and a fabulous bakery. As the owner of the oldest independent pet store in San Francisco, we are banding together with other retailers to keep the character of our neighborhood.
We are fighting hard to stop a retail corporate chain store called Healthy Spot from moving into Noe Valley. They are a Los Angeles based upscale pet supply and grooming store that has grown to more than a dozen stores; eight have opened in the past two years. They are venture funded and have a track record of aggressive expansion and marketing that can't be matched or sustained by existing small businesses, effectively encroaching on their customer base.
Noe Valley is a competitive market place. There are 10 pet related small businesses and 10 groomers within 1.5 miles of their proposed location. Healthy Spot offers the same products and services already available in our neighborhood. The location is a mere half block from our store, The Animal Company, which has served the community for 43 years. It's two blocks from the VIP Grooming Salon, which has been here for 24 years, and close to the Noe Valley Pet Company, which opened 19 years ago.
San Francisco restricts formula retail business chains from entering a neighborhood unless they can show a "need and desire" to do so. Healthy Spot is trying to muscle it's way into Noe Valley by hiring a high-powered lobbying and PR firm. And, they are trying to influence merchant groups with financial sponsorship.
On June 21st the San Francisco Planning Commission will hold a hearing about whether to issue Heathy Spot the needed Conditional Use permit. Neighborhood merchants and residents are mobilizing a grass roots campaign in opposition.
Although our campaign has a lot of support, it does not go without cost; a cost that our coalition cannot bear alone. We hired a campaign organizer that has fought this sort of battle before. With her expertize and experience we feel that she is worth the expense. Posters and flyers need to be designed, printed and distributed. We are having employees, from all the stores involved, canvasing the neighborhood and getting petitions signed .
There are those that believe in complete free enterprise and would allow any company with enough money to come in and dominate an area. If we have learned anything from the past, once this happens, small businesses go away and leave a retail ghost town.
With that said, please consider making a donation to our cause and help keep small businesses alive. All of us in the coalition will be forever grateful and we will be happy to get back to the business of taking care of the birds and animals.
Any remaining funds will be donated to local rescue organizations. Thanks, again
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