Attract businesses by treating them well
Thank you to The Union for recognizing businesspeople have common sense even though they don’t sit on a planning commission or city council.
For 50 years, Robinson Enterprises, Inc. (REI), has been providing jobs and tax revenues to Nevada County and Nevada City. After the mill closures in Nevada County, it seemed logical for the company to reduce transportation costs and relocate to Placer County. Plans were made to do so. However, family ties and a commitment to community run deep in the families involved with REI and they remained at the site off Lower Grass Valley Road. They have faced many changes in the logging and mining industries and have managed to maintain a successful business, which employs 60 full-time people, and approximately 150 seasonal employees. I admire the skills of the management team that have kept this diverse company going.
Legislation required expensive upgrades at the gas station on Union Street. While it was tempting to sell the site and let someone else deal with the upgrade, REI incurred the costs to upgrade. In an attempt to redeem those costs, a request was made for a mini-market and delicatessen. Seems reasonable to me, but the request was denied by the Planning Commission. REI appealed to the City Council, who also denied REI’s request.
Being born and raised in this community, I appreciate that the Planning Commission and City Council want to preserve Nevada City, but change is inevitable. Just ask the families in the mining and lumber industries how much has changed. I watched from the sidelines while my family made a difficult decision to close their business after 45 years. Increasing costs of doing business in California were a big factor in that decision. Nevada City and Nevada County spend a lot of time recruiting new business to the area. It seems to me that in order to do that, you need to show longevity in the existing businesses in the area. Why not work together and come up with a win/win situation instead of driving business away? Makes sense to me.
Maryanne Griggs Hoffler
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