I was fortune enough to get outside and enjoy the lovely weather this weekend. As I rode my bike through our two downtown areas I was encouraged by all of the activity I saw. With shops and restaurants buzzing it’s clear that times are good in Bethlehem, but we can do better.
As a city we’ve been devoting a lot of our attention to the former Bethlehem Steel land, as well as Third and Main Streets, but Bethlehem exists beyond our two main downtown areas. I’d like to see us reexamine our ordinances to remove the barriers to opening businesses in town.
There’s so much opportunity on Broad Street, or Linden or Fourth, just to name a few, but after talking with some small business owners who would like to set up shop, we’ve got to address our outdated regulations that are keeping us from getting to where we should be.
Yes, we need to continue to develop the area near the Steel, but let’s not lose sight of the bigger picture. Small business is the heart of our city and we need to encourage and support it just as much as we do the major developers.