When all is said and done, locally owned businesses at Underground Station will be inconvenienced for almost two weeks by the closures required to stage Harvest Homecoming's carpetbagging carny rides.
During the past couple of years, Harvest Homecoming has started listening, and it should be credited whenever it "gets" the needs of year-round businesses downtown. When it doesn't ... well, who else is in a position to defend the interests of the indie business community if not city government itself?
It must not be forgotten that Harvest Homecoming cannot operate on city-owned ground without the city's permission. No one is asking for Harvest Homecoming to go away, only to adapt. Only City Hall truly is in a position to facilitate this adaptation. It claims to be doing so, and this may be true, but a nagging question remains: Why isn't the process of engagement more transparent?
Following is a sampling of opinion from merchants and customers at Underground Station.
They are set in their ways, and as long as no one challenges them, they will continue to decide things unilaterally. As I was discussing the parking situation with the lady in charge, she said this is how it's been for the past 44 years, since Harvest started, and it will continue that way. So, in her logic, what worked and was ok in the early 70s, should be ok now in 2016. As if time has stood still, and no growth, developments, or population increases have have occurred throughout the years. This is the logic we are dealing with.
Businesses should be the priority. Harvest Homecoming in part should be to introduce visitors to the local businesses.
It's very frustrating that the small local businesses are over looked for the sake of money for the city and harvest homecoming. Having a new business in the area, it's scary to have to practically shut down for a close to a week- due to lack of parking and access for our clients. It's even more frustrating the lack of care presented by the city to us when we voiced our concerns.
No one is saying that Harvest is NOT a wonderful benefit to New Albany. All we are asking is that we as small business owners are considered when they plan it. All of the above comments are coming from owners of local businesses in the Underground Station! We also are apart of new development of NA. Losing commission for a week as an employee vs business owners losing a lot of revenue. Sorry you disagree. We as well do not want to see change in NA besides working with us or at least hearing us out. They will not even give us a sit down meeting. We are not asking for a lot. Only access to a parking area for our customers. Harvest comes around once a year. We are here all year long.