Goodyear has seen remarkable business growth recently and it continues with new projects on the drawing board ready to be made a reality.
There is, however, a need that has thus far been on the back burner. It came to my attention in a conversation with a business development official from the city of Goodyear after an appearance before a group of local residents.
I suggested that we needed a small business focus that was lacking in this community. Examples of this reality that I have learned is that specialty shop services here are lacking.
Without a strong and varied small business presence, the existence of an anchor store misses the point.
Anchor stores are vital, but must have a strong infrastructure of smaller businesses around them as well so that we keep our consumers attracted to Goodyear and not to Glendale or Sun City.
My own experience includes having to travel to Sun City to have damaged leather goods repaired. The repair of a piece of luggage required travel to Phoenix. The repair of a small appliance also required a visit to Phoenix.
When I need to purchase quality men’s clothing, Scottsdale is my destination. When we prefer a quality restaurant that is not a chain, it is necessary to leave Goodyear for such an experience.
Residents here will support a restaurant with world-class cuisine. Goodyear has one of the highest per capita income standards in the West Valley.
There are, of course, small business operations throughout the city, but a number of categories of small business specialty shops remain non-existent.
As my conversation with the business development representative concluded, that person thought it was a brilliant point for the city to pursue.
Now, as we see numerous chain restaurants and food markets opening, perhaps there can be a greater attention paid to the small business sector that is lacking in Goodyear. Glendale and Sun City seem to have more to offer in this regard.
Since my concern was confirmed by a city official, it is time we move forward with marketing this community for a range of small businesses that fulfill consumer needs that are not being fulfilled in our city.
The reality is that once a resident of our city leaves for another community to purchase an item unavailable here, they will do further purchasing in that community, and that revenue is lost forever to Goodyear businesses.
There is a simple principle that applies here: Build it and they will come.
We saw that with the building of a world-class movie theater complex. It was doing exceedingly well before the pandemic closed those theaters.
Commercial property sits empty in some areas of our city. Pursuing a wide range of varied businesses will increase our ability to grow this retail business sector.
Clearly, the pandemic has had a major impact on limiting business growth and that fact alone has been a huge obstacle to accomplishing the goal suggested here. Hopefully by the middle of 2021, we can look at this approach and achieve success for the benefit of Goodyear.
Editor’s note: Mike Siegel is host of shows on local talk radio. He lives in Goodyear’s PebbleCreek community.