To the Editor,
I am writing in regard to your article about last Thursday’s meeting of the City Board. In that article you provided the following quote:
“I don’t think we need to care what business owners think.”
– Jon Cawley, Mount Airy City Commissioner
I know the conversation was about a minor traffic issue, but the attitude reflected in this quote is appalling.
Our town only exists because of the businesses located here, and the people who work and shop at those businesses. People did not move to Mount Airy because of the wonderful City government. They came here to work. They don’t go downtown to use the City restrooms. They go there to shop at the businesses on Main Street. Without those businesses, there wouldn’t be a downtown.
Perhaps the commissioner should take a look at the sources of revenue for the City. Sales taxes come from businesses. Occupancy taxes come from businesses. License fees come from businesses. Much of the property taxes come from businesses. Without those revenues, City residents couldn’t afford to live here. But, there would be fewer residents, because without the businesses, the only jobs would be in government.
While an anti‐business attitude often appears in City government, it is unusual to have it stated so bluntly. Anyone relocating or starting a business has been given fair warning. If you come to Mount Airy you will face not only the normal risks in running a business, but you will pay additional taxes and have to contend with a City government that doesn’t care what you think. It shouldn’t be that way.
John Springthorpe, III