I called it. I SO called this one....
From Dunwoody Patch: Dunwoody Green Market Seeks New Home
From the article:
The U.S. Postal Service has told the Dunwoody Green Market that it needs the parking lot where vendors operate on Wednesdays eight months of the year and that the market will have to find a new home.
The financially troubled agency is closing the Dunwoody Carrier Annex at 4444 North Shallowford Road and is moving those operations to the Dunwoody Post Office. That move will begin on Friday, May 18, according to a supervisor at the North Shallowford Road address who referred further questions to the main Atlanta Post Office. Officials at the main branch did not return a call requesting comment.
Back in August 2011 - almost 9 months ago - I posted this article:
From the blog post:
US Post Offices are by definition federal land. City ordinances don't apply. So while the DGM is in the Post Office's good graces, the market opens every Wednesday - legally.
How lucky do you feel existing at the whim of the Feds? I wouldn't. The USPS can revoke its permission at any time. They can close that location and sell the land, which they routinely threaten to do.The land isn't going to be sold, but it is going to be used by the rightful owners. The article from Patch goes on about how vendors were told casually by federal employees that they are going to be evicted in just under three weeks and that city officials are taken by surprise. You can moan and complain to the sky about how slimy and uncouth that (lack of) legit communication is. You'd be right. But here's the problem: the USPS has every right in the world to do so. The DGM has been operating at the feds' pleasure and pleasure time is up. IMHO, no one has any right to be surprised.
So the recommendation from August 2011 is more urgent than ever: a landlord or other entrepreneur has a huge incentive to open a permanent community marketplace where the farmers, artisans, other businesses can pay a proportional rent and set up shop weekly. The blog post above had the complete list of advantages.
So what have we learned here?
- Don't rely on the feds or other government agency to just *give* you what you need to run your business. The USPS scenario is Exhibit A. The land the DGM was camped on was considered a long-term solution rather than a short-term stopgap. Big mistake. Always have a plan in place for long-term land/property use. If your Plan B involves continued squatting, you're setting yourself up for scrambling again and again.
- Take your business sense seriously and work accordingly. Microbusinesses, home businesses, family farms, artisans, other sole proprietors, are all part of the legitimate business community and all have a legitimate role to play in the economic development of Dunwoody. If you want Dunwoody and your customers to take you seriously, you have to act the part. Get a license. Pay your share of taxes. Find a venue that can accommodate the amount of business you conduct. Pay your rent to the landlord, if it isn't you. Or buy the property you want to operate from. DGM has been dragging their feet on this one and now they're in a panic. Will history repeat itself or will a permanent market be established? Stay tuned.
I'm a little concerned about DGM proprietors discussing their future in terms of "we'll just see where we land". How about "let's decide where we will go"? I don't know of any successful business plan that leaves their location up to the four winds and the good will of government. Even food truck operators have a route and location plan mapped out in advance. Choose a location, negotiate a price, and work to build it.
Although I prefer to have as few strings as possible attached to free enterprise, the City of Dunwoody government can play a role in acknowledging the contributions uber-small businesses make to the community. I can't imagine too many people would be upset if Dunwoody provided city-owned land for a market. (I can think of a spot on North Shallowford that's open at the moment.) Conversely, the City also has to hold these businesses responsible for paying their share of revenue just like any other business.