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Chamber Board Opposes Proposed Ordinance to Limit Chain Stores

In a letter sent out Thursday, the board for the Malibu Chamber of Commerce says the proposed formula retail ordinance "would do more harm than good."

The board of the Malibu Chamber of Commerce sent out a letter Thursday asking its members to speak out against a draft ordinance that seeks to limit chain stores in Malibu's Civic Center area.

The letter encourages business owners and chamber members to attend a community meeting, which is meant to flush out some of the details of the ordinance, at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13 at Malibu City Hall.

"It is imperative that decision-makers hear from business owners like you. We ask that you join us at this meeting in telling the City that a Formula Retail Ordinance would do more harm than good," the letter states.

Don Schmitz, chairman of the Board of Directors for the Malibu Chamber of Commerce, said the letter was sent out by email Thursday.

"It was something that was worked on collectively by the board," Schmitz said.

In November, the Malibu City Council voted to direct city staff to draft an ordinance to require a conditional use permit for any new chain businesses in shopping centers with more than 10,000 square feet in the Civic Center area.

At that meeting, Schmitz publicly opposed a formula retail ordinance on behalf of the chamber, which represents more than 300 member businesses.

"We will put our resources behind connecting the residents within this community with the businesses. That will work. Putting restrictions on the nimble capitalistic system that we have will not work. You're a good government. I'm an advocate that small government, local government works best, but you cannot effectively insert yourself into the free market system and do anything except damage," Schmitz said. 

In the letter, the board said independent studies show that Malibu maintains a healthy diversity of both national and local retailers. 

"We believe that nationally recognized businesses actually help smaller local businesses succeed by attracting a larger customer base to our centers," the letter states, adding that Chipotle is an example of a business that serves the community. 

The letter points to the chamber's "Shop the Bu" program, which was started to connect residents to local businesses to increase sales.

Deb Haugen December 08, 2012 at 03:06 PM
I'm just flabbergasted that "Sephora" is here in Malibu....make up? in Malubu....whats it come to....eye yie yie!
Ben Dover December 08, 2012 at 06:11 PM
The only harm that will come from an ordinance is the harm to the pockets of Don Schmitz, his mall cop side kick Scott Wagenseller, that stooge Stu of Koss Financial, and a few of the others on the so called Malibu Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber has become a joke. Go on the website and check out their " Shop the Bu" BS.....all the coupons and ads are from outsiders trying to profit off of Malibu. I, like many other real local small business owners canceled my membership to the Chamber when the Stooges took control of it. I say pass the ordinance already and while we're at it lets see if we can force the Chamber to change their name to the Malibu Chamber of Whores.
Dru Ann Jacobson December 08, 2012 at 06:47 PM
"Shop the Bu", yes it's a lovely concept, but where do we shop???? Most of the full-time, long-time locals, can't afford to shop in their own hometown anymore! Of course we'll shop where we can, and support any small, locally owned business, but they're disappearing!!! Can't the Chamber see that...the high rents are running everyone out of town, and saying a high-end chain store helps the smaller business is baloney!Look at poor Point Pizza, being made to close their doors on New Year's Eve! Having to say good-bye to a one-store owner, which is her lively hood...what a very sad state of affairs our poor city is facing...Please as many people who care go to the Ordinance meeting on Dec. 13, voice your concerns, and let others know how you feel!
Marshall Thompson December 08, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Check out my latest Malibu Patch blog - http://malibu.patch.com/blog_posts/what-local-businesses-did-you-shop-at-this-week - and share where you shopped locally this week.
J. Flo December 09, 2012 at 01:44 AM
Finally Malibu is following the smart lead of implementing a Formula Ordinance as countless cities across America have done and in our own state of California such as: San Francisco, Ojai, Coronado, Benecia, Aracata, Calistoga, San Juan Bautista, Sonoma, Sausalito, Pacific Grove, Solvang, etc. And many more cities such as Venice are in process! This is great news for not only our Independent businesses, everyone who loves Malibu and all those who live here. Bravo John Sibert, Laura Rosenthal and Skylar Peak. Hats off! And BTW, this Chamber had less than zero to do with the Malibu Cash Mobs and the 6 local businesses already supported (more to come), nor did any of the executives show up at one of them. Residents led this effort, proud of 'Preserve Malibu', our city is so worth preserving!

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