Berkot’s Will Take Our Jobs!

Today brings a close to our week-long series on competition in Wilington. In case you missed a day, here are direct links to each post to catch you up.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Argument #6
Angelo’s will be forced to close Ben Franklin and the Bait Shop.

Personally, I believe this to be nothing more than an empty threat. However, if true, those businesses should probably already be closed down. If a store is losing money it cannot be expected to keep operating forever. If those two stores are in such bad financial shape that the only reason they are open is the profits of a liquor store, that means the market has decided those businesses should close. If Angelo’s is concerned about losing money to Berkot’s, but are bleeding money with Ben Franklin and the bait shop, closing those two stores would seemingly make Angelo’s more more financially secure.

Argument #7
Berkot’s having a license poses a public health issue and will give teens alcohol

This is insulting. Wilmington is so full of drunks that another place selling beer poses a public health risk? I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to become an alcoholic because Berkot’s sells beer. In fact, I won’t drink any more or less than I do now.

As far as the teens are concerned, teen drinking exists. It’s not a good thing but it’s been around forever. The thing is, if they’re going to drink, they’re going to find a way. And that way is almost never going to be strolling into Berkot’s with a fake ID and walking out with a cart full of beer. They’re going to get their friends to buy it for them. While illegal, there’s nothing Berkot’s, or any liquor store can really do about that. Many of those teens will get liquor from their parents who think their kids are going to drink anyway and they’d rather have it at their house than somewhere else. This is also illegal, yet still something no liquor store can control. It’s happening right now without Berkot’s selling beer.

If Berkot’s selling beer means it’s easier for teens to get alcohol due to there being more places to get it… and the liquor stores go out of business… that means there is less places for teens to get alcohol by your own (bad) logic.

Argument #8
This will cost the town many jobs

How many jobs do the liquor stores really provide? I admit to be making assumptions here but I have to believe Berkot’s provides more jobs than the three liquor stores combined. Every job matters and losing those jobs is of course not a positive thing, but the city still should not be stopping a business from competing in a marketplace to save the handful of jobs that the liquor stores provide.

As far as Pizza Hut is concerned, there will be a larger number jobs lost. I don’t see any way our previously established locations can continue to survive by delivering a single pizza for $25+ when Pizza Hut is now in town with $10 carry outs. However, when businesses close that creates an opportunity for new businesses to come in and add jobs. If the other pizza places in town close, Pizza Hut will have to hire more people to keep up with demand.

Closing Thoughts
We’ve been at this for a week now and it’s time to move on, at least until new information surfaces. Businesses wanting to be in Wilmington is a good thing, period. Turning them away is stupid. Let the people decide with their dollar who lasts and who doesn’t. Launching Pad was popular for many, many years. You won’t find many people who disagree that the business has been run into the ground. Nelly’s has basically assumed Launching Pad’s role in the community. That’s not a bad thing, but where was the city at there? Why are we trying to protect certain businesses but don’t care at all about the demise of the most (and only) well known Wilmington landmark? Bad economic times are when shrewd business owners make their money. If buildings start going empty somebody will come in and fill those holes with less of an investment required than in times of economic prosperity.

Now is the time to convince people that Wilmington is the place you want to call home for your business. If you’re going to put signs up that say “shop local,” you need policy that isn’t a slap in the face to the consumer. If you want people to shop local, give them options to shop local. Residents are already leaving town to get cheaper prices on whatever it is they buy, or just for convenience of having to stop at less places. Whether that’s Joliet or as close as Braidwood, If it’s not Wilmington our city council and mayor are not doing their jobs and we need to remember that when it’s time to vote.

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment