Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Government Stadium Kills Off Small Business

Well - it looks like the government/big business consortium that resulted in Conseco Fieldhouse has taken another victim - the small business known as Hollywood Bar and Filmworks in downtown Indianapolis. Owner Ted Bulthaup is reported as telling the Indianapolis Star that "revenue has been sliding since early 2000, shortly after Conseco Fieldhouse opened. He says higher prices for parking drove away customers who increasingly went for movies in the suburbs."

Those of us familiar with downtown know that in 1999 Bulthaup and the local downtown restaurant association predicted this would happen if they built Conseco Fieldhouse. They were very upset that this was going to happen because of government use of taxpayer money and eminent domain, and not because of market forces.

Hollywood Bar and Filmworks has been in its downtown Indianapolis location for 15 years, back before downtown Indianapolis had reestablished itself. However the lesson is clear, as H.K. Hurst and Company knows, that government does not reward such loyalty. It will take taxpayer money to build monuments to big business entities, give those entities very favorable deals, and stick it to small businesses and other taxpayers. I'll sarcastically state that of course my mind might be changed if the City of Indianapolis decides to use taxpayer money to build a new office building downtown for my law practice. If this is the right thing to do for the Colts and the Pacers, it is the right thing for my law practice.

Note - I like the Colts and the Pacers and both the Simon families and Irsay families have been wonderful to the City of Indianapolis. It's just that government should have the discipline to not throw money at big businesses that should fend for themselves. Admittedly, it has to be hard for a big business to reject such largess.

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