In response to the March 25 opinion concerning our new ordinance on resale, consignment and antique shops, I’d like to set the record straight.
As chair of ordinance and legal, these changes were not taken lightly. After several months of work, we deferred to our city attorney to look at ordinances in cities that are comparable to Belleville.
This new ordinance does not affect not-for-profit operations.
It will take years to get to the proposed number of 10. Also, the present stores are grandfathered in.
It’s imperative we get a handle on these type of stores to have consistency in how they operate their businesses. We’ve done that with pawnshops and tattoo parlors. It’s a shame that a few of these operations are hurting the good merchants that abide by our laws.
As a small business owner, I’m protective of people who take a chance of going into business. We are a city built on small business. These owners are taking a huge gamble. They have inventory and tremendous amount of overhead. On the other hand, in most cases the merchandise in resale shops is donated or on consignment. We are talking 100 percent pure profit with little or no overhead. I’m not saying this is entirely wrong, but the playing field needs to be level for all our merchants.
This new ordinance gives teeth to the old ordinance we had on our books.
We don’t take changing ordinances lightly. Our city attorney does hours of research. So when you read the March 25 opinion understand that everything we do is to make this great city better.
Roger Wigginton, Belleville 8th Ward alderman