Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Bounce Back Blowback?

Summerstorm 2003 did a world of hurtin' to this city. Business especially took a big hit, either from direct storm damage (like Ike's on Union, which was destroyed) or as many people suspended shopping to take care of their problems. The City Council wanted to do something, being politicians who must be seen "doing something." The answer was "Bounce Back Memphis". (Scroll down and choose the September 17th link in the "In The News" box.) Of course, being politicians they couldn't help but note that the City lost $1.7 million in taxes. I thought Rainy Day Funds were to cover just such eventualities, but apparently I'm mistaken here.

You can find the "Bounce Back Memphis" logo all around, but as the City's press release notes, Clear Channel has signed on. There's been a public service announcement showing on ABC24 WPTY that's amusing. Brian Tiegland sells the message, but the "merchants" they show on camera are Beale Street and Peabody Place, a couple of downtown tourist traps! And part of the City's hard-sell do-or-die downtown rebuilding effort.

No mention of the countless little businesses affected -- like the many businesses along Madison that were decimated by MATA's trolley construction which have so far escaped the City's concern. Nor of all the businesses along Union, Cooper, Poplar, Jackson and Summer Avenues that were hurt. Nope, it's Peabody Place and Beale Street, already recipients of City and County largesse.

Gotta help that downtown bounce back, y'all.

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