To the editor:
I have a small business here on the beach. The town is trying to change the outdoor display ordinance to adversely affect my business.
My business is Joni's Gallery, at 1188 Estero Blvd. The new ordinance would not allow me to have my merchandise table or yard spinners (free standing product display) out close to the sidewalk.
The ordinance would restrict merchandise to a porch only. They considered the front parking spaces that I placed my table and garden spinners as a patio, and are no longer permitting merchandise on a patio.
Although this seems like a slight change, it will make a big impact on my business. My gallery sets back, with a building blocking one side and dining umbrellas blocking the other side. The ordinance is for all businesses but I am the one that is most effected. At least 85 percent of my business comes from the displays that are close to the sidewalk.
I have worked hard to establish a business here. So many people say they would never have noticed my gallery if it wasn't for the merchandise table, I don't see how moving my table back will help the Island. I do know it will ruin my business. Moving everything back to the porch, is too far away from the traffic for me. Again, for most businesses this is okay, but my gallery sets back.
If you have come into my shop, because of the spinners or table, can you please call or write the town council, asking them to allow merchandise and merchandise tables to stay on patios. And hopefully in response, they will show their support for a small business. You can reach the Town by website at www.fortmyersbeachfl.gov (on the left is an envelope to click on to send a message) or by calling 765-0202.
They are voting on this at the Town Council meeting on Nov. 4, at 9 a.m.
I would appreciate any support you could show for me. It is such a pleasure to work here on this island with all my great customers. Thank you
Fort Myers Beach