Richardson Grove Realignment–Supporting Small Green Businesses
An important reason to support the Richardson Grove realignment is to help our local economy. Small Green businesses are hurt by the STAA regulations in ways that the large box stores aren’t. An excellent article byErin Tracy in the Times Standard, provided some hard facts on how the alignment would help producers of local products–especially those in the small to mid-size. Humboldt Creamery estimated that they could save a 10 % saving on shipping — around $600,000 if the company was able to use the STAA trucks. Sun Valley estimated that they would be able to cut back about 17% of their truck trips.
Other businesses have left the area that might have stayed should the Realignment have been in place already. In an article jammed with information (read it! It is excellent!) the North Coast Prosperity, an online business journal, states, “According to Humboldt County Economic Development Coordinator Jacqueline Debets, over the past couple of years manufacturers like Yakima, Calgon Carbon, Amulet Manufacturing and Premiere Meats have all cited transportation limitations as part of their reasoning behind relocation. ‘While we can’t get back the jobs we’ve lost to this restriction, we can save local jobs and companies from being forced to export their jobs if we make this fix,” Debets said, adding many manufacturers are more concerned that the new emissions legislation (AB 32) will eliminate the small trucks altogether, than they are about saving money.'”
An eloquent comment on an earlier post about Richardson Grove impressed me so much that I’m promoting it to guest post. The author, Todd Lake conveyed in a short couple paragraphs what I have been unable to say.
From what I understand Cypress Grove will need to relocate if this project can not be completed by 2010. This is due to new air quality/emissions requirements that will make currently operating, shorter, non staa trucks obselete. Without access thru Richardson Grove for staa trucks at that point there will not be a viable option for refrigerated shipping out of Humboldt. Cypress Grove is an incredible local company in that it supports good use of open space thru the purchase of goat milk and additionally does a great deal in establishing and promoting the often talked about Humboldt brand.
In terms of a larger economic context, what do people actually expect to happen here. Timber and fishing are basically gone as staple industries. I hear plenty of talk about light industry and green manufacturing, but without a way for business to ship there products competitively, how can we expect them to stay? Without the growth of these small businesses how can we expect to survive economically?
I guess my main issue is that this is sometimes labeled as a big box express lane, but without strong viable local industry, won’t we eventually be left as big box prey without any other alternatives? Furthermore, these large unwanted chains already have the ability to keep smaller trucks in their fleets just for access to our area.
Don’t fear the change. Embrace the possibilites.