Jeff Achen from Thisweek interviewed Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce (I would have linked to them but their URL is being listed as an “attack site” by Google) President Ed Kearney on The Show and asks some pretty tough questions about what’s going on with businesses in Apple Valley and what the Chamber is doing to help the situation.
First off, let me say that this was the best interview that Jeff Achen has done yet. For all the grief and aggravation I give the local media, including Jeff, I have to admit that The Show is a really great additional to the local mediascape and one I’m usually pretty excited to watch each week. If you haven’t watched any of the shows they’ve put out, I highly suggest you at least watch this one as it really gets at the heart of a lot of the issues we regularly discuss here on this site.
Without bothering to get into the rest of the interview, as you really should watch it all yourself, I’m going to skip right to the heart of what needs to be discussed here: what should the Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce (or any chamber for that matter) be doing to help local business owners succeed in this economy. Well, while I’m not a businessman, I can tell you one thing–I would not be paying ~$300+ to have the Chamber president talk about my business like this:
I hear it from people every other day…if people really like the person, personally, that’s running that business–they seem to do well. And if they don’t, and I don’t care what the business is, they won’t. And maybe the service wasn’t as good in some of those businesses.
– Ed Kearney, Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce President, talking about Dunn Bros and Two Guys from Italy (12:28)
Immediately after Mr. Kearney said the above quote, Jeff Achen said that he interviewed both owners and found them both to be outgoing individuals. While I only interviewed Sheryl Petersburg from Dunn Bros, I also have to chime in that Mrs. Petersburg is not only friendly and outgoing but also spoke quite highly of Mr. Kearney and what she perceived he had done for her business:
When we first opened, Mayor Mary Hamann-Roland would come into the shop often and would say that we were sitting on a goldmine and Ed Kearney from the Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce kept us updated about the happenings in the area. He was very good to us. But even so, with time things changed and our frustrations fell on deaf ears.
Do you mean to tell me that the laundry list of businesses that have opened and closed in Central Village were all bad business managers and that there were no external forces at work?
Well Sheryl (and believe me Ed, I’ve e-mailed her to let her know what you said as I’m positive that the $2000+ she paid you over the years should have gone to more than the quote you gave above), it would appear that he definitely does believe that it’s more the owners of the businesses that closed and not the location itself. To be perfectly honest, I’m disgusted and I’d love to see Apple Valley Chamber businesses take a second look at how their $300+ are being spent. Don’t you feel a little sick to your stomach after reading what you said during the interview with Jeff? To think that people actually trust you with their hard earned and difficult to come by money so that you can offer them advice and then for you to turn back around, after they fall on the hardest times of all, and say what you did is just wrong. You have won the “Boo On You Award” for the day, congratulations–now go and add that one to your resume.
So what do you think about what Ed Kearney had to say about two local businesses which closed in the Central Village? What do you think about his comments on how businesses are responding and what the Chamber is doing to help those who are struggling to keep their doors open during this unbelievably difficult time? Whatever you have to say about Jeff Achen’s excellent interview with Ed Kearney go ahead and comment on!