Businesses deserve level playing field

Published 9:00 am Friday, August 11, 2017

What does it mean for a community to be “business friendly?”

The definition may vary somewhat from person to person, but for us it means local government provides a foundation for entrepreneurial success and keeps a level playing field for all businesses.

That is exactly what happened recently when the Winchester Licensing Board voted to force the closure of Plowshares Trading Post, located at the corner of Highland and Washington streets, for operating without a business license for nearly two years.

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Some people have already jumped on this to attack the city and put blame on elected officials, but those individuals are truly missing the big picture.

According to city officials, this business had multiple opportunities to meet the license requirements that all businesses are held to here in Clark County as well as comply with federal laws mandating handicap accessibility.

Although there have been ownership changes and some efforts to comply, the business owners ultimately were not able to address these things in a reasonable time frame and were forced to close the doors.

Selective enforcement or allowing them to violate local and federal laws is not only illegal, it is a disservice to all the other businesses that do things the right way.

Business owners should be encouraged by this because they can rest assured that there is a level playing field and their competitors will not receive any advantages. That’s all a business can ask for.

We applaud licensing board for having the courage to make a difficult decision, knowing that there would likely be some level of public outcry and backlash.

Winchester and Clark County wants to grow. The community needs to grow. That doesn’t mean we forsake our principles and the basic concept of fairness.