Business Owner Responds to Empty Downtown Storefronts

Says the Secret to Thriving Business is Parking

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Lake State Credit Union has announced that it will close its location in downtown Duluth, which will leave yet another storefront vacant.

There are spots in downtown Duluth that have struggled recently to maintain thriving businesses.

Rod Raymond from Just Take Action, the company that owns the Brewhouse, Tycoons, Burrito Union, and more, says he believes the secret to attracting better retailers downtown would be to make more free parking available.

Raymond says simply making more parking available is also at the heart of it.

He says he believes access to parking will allow for more people to walk around downtown,  making the downtown area more vibrant than it already is. 

He compares this scenario with the free parking available at the Fitger’s complex:.

“Some of the businesses that were in Fitger’s moved to more of the Downtown area here,” Raymond said. Same products, same entrepreneurs, same ownerships – but they didn’t have the parking. And those businesses didn’t thrive.”

He points out that some businesses downtown are already creating revenue for the city with the one percent tourism tax.

“I pay more tax with my business – perhaps a good idea would be for our city officials to explore the idea of making parking free for businesses that pay that,” Raymond said.

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