2018-07-26 / Views

Business voices sought, but why an editorial?

Are you a small business owner in Leelanau County who has an opinion about the difficulty of borrowing money?

If so, Cong. Jack Bergman plans to speak to you. Or maybe he won’t, depending upon the success of Jim Nash to gather up 10-12 like-minded constituents for a roundtable discussion planned at 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 6, at the Munnecke Room at the Leland Library.

Mr. Nash is owner of Dune Berry Resort Wear, a clothing store on Main St. in Leland. He has considered opening up more stores in northwest Michigan. He understands the market as his family heritage in Traverse City dates back to 1852.

But expansion would take a substantial investment, and traditional means to secure capital are failing most small businesses, he says.

Enter Mr. Bergman, or more specifically his chief of staff who happened into Dune Berry a few weeks ago. Mr. Nash struck up a conversation about borrowing concerns that led to a proposal for Mr. Bergman to hear directly from the owners of Leelanau businesses.

Mr. Nash enlisted our help in spreading the word, which we have done. Give him a call at 231-645-2526 should you want a seat at the table.

Why didn’t we run a news story rather than something on the editorial page, you ask?

Frankly, we’ve found it difficult to strike up a conversation with Mr. Bergman about issues affecting Leelanau County. Communications, you might say, have been one-sided. And while the pull from Washington is real, neither he nor his staff have been regular visitors to Leelanau.

We were thankful to hear from leaders in the cherry industry after Mr. Bergman made himself available to them for a roundtable in June to discuss import challenges.

Now with the November election drawing nearer, we’ve learned that he may hold another roundtable in Leland.

If the latest roundtable offer is part of a campaign strategy, then it belongs here, on the editorial page.

We hope there’s more to Mr. Bergman’s offer.

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