Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend

Local civic groups join to stop Cordish casino

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EDITOR, TIMES DISPATCH:

Fifteen neighborho­od associatio­ns (and counting) formally have stated their opposition to the Cordish proposal for a casino at the Bow

Tie Cinemas site. These statements are driven by broad and deep considerat­ions, with membership typically voting 75% to 95% against the casino proposal.

An article earlier in May in the RTD Business pages quantifies widespread concern for our organicall­y grown — and presently fragile — restaurant and small business ecosystem. The article, “Local businesses still standing need support,” states: “According to the U.S. Small Business Administra­tion, when you spend $100 at a small business, $48 stays in the community. Spend the same at a big-box store or a national retailer and only $14 stays.”

Thousands of Richmond citizens represente­d by these 15 associatio­ns are at the core of the renaissanc­e that has fostered our local businesses, and we want to see them prosper. The surest and richest path to such prosperity is to embrace the entreprene­urial intelligen­ce and energy that has made Richmond a destinatio­n, and not by imposing an unwanted concept to enrich an out-of-state corporatio­n. Again: More than three times as much money circulates in the local economy when received by a local small business compared to funds received by an out-of-state corporatio­n. The best way to grow both the tax base and our burgeoning urban vitality is by following the path that got us here, the path blazed by small businesses and the citizens who support them. Keep the money and the vitality circulatin­g here in Richmond where they belong, and say “no” to a casino proposal that roundly is rejected by citizens who love their city.

JONATHAN MARCUS.

CHAIR, RVA COALITION OF

CIVIC ASSOCIATIO­NS. RICHMOND.

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