POLL: Shorewood or Bay, Which Village Has It Right on Business Recruitment?
Shorewood has spent a lot of money for its growth on Oakland Avenue, while Whitefish Bay chooses a more conservative approach that only recently seems to be paying off. Which one community has it right?
While there are certainly cultural and geographical differences between the neighboring villages of Shorewood and Whitefish Bay, the two communities’ philosophical difference in business development is just as stark.
Shorewood has been very aggressive in spending money to recruit new businesses, while Whitefish Bay has decided to be more conservative with its expenses and more modest in its growth.
But, Shorewood has added nearly 30 new businesses while losing just two over two years. Over that time span, Whitefish Bay has seen a lot of turnover with nine businesses leaving and another 14 opening their doors.
John Stuhlmacher, chairman of the Whitefish Bay Business Improvement District, said in an article on Patch, "you have to let the free market work."
"Shorewood spends a lot more money to do a lot more projects. Could Whitefish Bay do that? Yes, it could, but we're not really doing that right now. I don't think that's necessarily the best way," he said.
While Shorewood Village Manager Chris Swartz said, yes, Shorewood has spent money to encourage growth in Shorewood's business district, but officials are now able to ease back from loans and grants and let things happen, because they have greased the "economic engine."
“You’ve oiled it and now people are going to want to invest there. We call it oiling the wheels of the economic engine," he said.
So, which village has it right when it comes to recruiting businesses? Let us know in the poll.