Letter: Business Improvement District will help Edmonds build a strong future

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To The Editor:

Our Edmonds.

Edmonds is a truly amazing place to live! For those of us fortunate enough to call Edmonds home, there is not a day goes by that we don’t think about the uniqueness of our amazing city. Be it the waterfront, the parks, the companies, the schools, the people or the grandeur, Edmonds is about as unique as it gets. The warmth in our community is second to none and I for one have such a sense of pride, appreciating that my family lives in Edmonds.

The joy really kicks in when people ask where you live and you answer, Edmonds –there is something magical about the reaction people give you, “Oh, you live in Edmonds” like you are as lucky as you already feel. Like there is something so special. And why not? Edmonds is simply one of the most unique and special places to live in the Puget Sound. Close to everything, but far from the mayhem. Confident – Serene – Endearing.

My pride for this city was recently elevated when I was asked to join the group developing the new Edmonds Business Improvement District. What’s that?

A Business Improvement District or a BID takes the onus off the individual merchant and service provider to help build a strong, relevant future for any city. BIDs bring a city together, helping to develop a more defined and unique offering, all under one collective voice. Together, we are more competitive, more relevant, and more honest to our brand – the Edmonds brand: a brand that we don’t need to mess with, but simply fine tune and grow. And it is that unified voice and camaraderie that makes us stronger.

So why do we need to help each other? As a local business owner, I don’t think it’s fair for me to carry the burden of keeping an eye on whether our city is clean and safe or that our future is strong and vibrant. To me it is all about community and it is this business community that keeps an eye on how our future evolves. It is about shoring up our business practices so people don’t continue to run off to the malls or other cities to find better products and services.

Pretty much everything we can imagine is right in our own back yard, so we need to make sure we don’t let our uniqueness fade into dust or have more empty store fronts or dormant office buildings. Like anything in life, we need to always be evolving and providing a constant reason to believe in our product. We cannot sit on our laurels and expect to miraculously get better at what we do without doing the work.

Small towns like ours are dying by the wayside all over this country (and around the world) and only when it’s too late do people turn back and try and figure out what went wrong, and only at that point do you hear, “If only I had seen this coming, I would have done something about it!”

I appreciate that change is difficult, but I hate the alternative. These aren’t tough times, they’re simply unique times. And they’re amazing times. And there has never been a better time to face the future of Edmonds than today. Now is the time for us to respect, love and cherish our Edmonds brand -not tomorrow – when it’s too late. We are what we make our city and I for one want to see us thrive for years to come and always see that sense of pride when we say, “It’s An Edmonds Kind of Day.”

Ken Grant
Edmonds resident, business owner

 

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