who attracts commerce?

May 21st, 2009 by Eric Cope

Recently, Walmart opened a store in my home town, Maricopa, AZ. I was discussing the recent opening with my wife, more specifically, why it took so long for Walmart to open a store. She mentioned that *they* should have attracted Walmart sooner. Additionally, *they* should attract other stores like Target, Best Buy, etc. I asked her who was *they*. She responded, the city government.  Its this type of thinking that lends itself to large, obtrusive governments at all levels.

While the city may think it attracted Walmart, that is a terrible, shallow description of who attracted Walmart to Maricopa. There is only body that attracted Walmart to Maricopa, the free market. Until recently, it was not worth Walmart’s money to invest in a new building to capture Maricopa’s dollars. Most of Maricopa commutes to the Phoenix Metro area for work, passing at least one Walmart along the way. It was not until recently that Maricopa had a significant enough population to support the volumes necessary to make a Walmart profitable. As Maricopa grows, other stores will come, but not because of the city. Its because of you, the consumer.

Now, there are things a municipality can do to block or encourage businesses to move to Maricopa. Things like zoning requirements, property taxes, and sales taxes all inhibit new business growth. If Maricopa wants more business, we need to reduce and streamline zoning changes, grossly reduce property and sales taxes. To enable this, Maricopa needs to maintain a barebones staff, keeping local regulations to a minimum.  Additionally, Maricopa will attract consumers with the same policies, making it a win-win for everyone.

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