Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Chambers to Meet on Wal-Mart

Tomorrow night there will be a meeting of the newly formed Ramapo Jewish Chamber of Commerce at Eli's Bagels on Maple Avenue in Spring Valley. The meeting will feature a traffic presentation by the Alliance's Brian Ketcham who will critique the projected scope of work being proposed by the consultants for the Wal-Mart in Monsey. Members of the Spring Valley Chamber of Commerce will also join the group.

The Chamber, led by Monsey business consultant Abe Stauber, is rapidly signing up members who are concerned about the super center's impact on their stores. The Monsey scope has now included the socio-economic impacts that it first tried to avoid. As we have pointed out previously, lawyer Dennis Lynch represents a group that will commission its own economic impact study.

One of the keys for us is to help the Planning Board understand more fully the collateral damages of the development. What this means is understanding the full extent to which the local retailers contribute to the economic and social vitality of the surrounding community. This understanding necessitates that any analyst examine the extent to which local business contributes a "multiplyer effect" to the community's economy.

In addition, particularly in regard to the Monsey businesses, the evaluation should include the level of cross-pollination between the business owners and Monsey and New Square religious and cultural institutions. One thing we know for sure-Wal-Mart, unlike the Monsey business community, will not be donating money to places like the Yeshiva of Spring Valley. We'll have more on this topic at a later date.