Besides attending council meetings, and keeping an open communication with our local police department, (who I feel are doing the best job they can under these circumstances), one simple thing you can do to save your community and help your local economy is to shop locally! I am a Brentwood business owner myself. I am the owner of Play at Home - Billiards & Games, and I am also a local resident. Like many business owners I am struggling to keep the doors open, many of my competitors (that sell pool tables) have already closed their doors…Brentwood Pool & Spa, U.S. Spa (Antioch), and Lily Pad Spa (Oakley) have gone out of business. This should make me happy, but it doesn't, because I can feel for them. I am in the same position myself. This problem is widespread…. furniture stores, swimming pool builders, electricians, real estate agents, loan officers, etc. Any business that has ties to home sales, whether they be new or existing is hurting big time.
Most of the local business owners also live in this community, so what do you think happens when they go out of business? Most likely they will claim bankruptcy, which means they can also lose their home, which means yet another foreclosure and the possibility of unwanted tenants taking their place. Shopping locally and supporting your local business really does make a difference.
Many of you may not be aware that commercial rent in Brentwood is outrageously high compared to other cities with higher populations and income. I guess landlords and property owners are not aware of the problems facing tenants over the past two years, and still cling to the hope that we will be the next Blackhawk, but I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon. It's time to face reality and set rates to the current economy, not based on what they think it will be worth 10 years from now. But that's another story.
Just as important as shopping locally is shopping independent retailers, not just the big box stores. Some of them are hurting too, but they can stand to take losses for a few years, independent retailers cannot. Target, Wal-Mart, Kohl's and others are doing just fine, and they are not owned by people living in your community. If you want to help your neighbor and yourself in turn, do less Internet shopping, less big box, and more local independent retail.