On a scale of 1 to poor we're poor. Ramen is not only a staple in our diet it's a necessity. We have to save up to buy household items such as a vacuum cleaner, microwave, and used couches. We have little more than a roof over our heads, our car(that we can hardly afford), and our wardrobe comprised of Plato's Closet, Goodwill, and Rumors Boutique clothing. We're not complaining, hell, we actually love our life. We're small business owners in Richmond which is something to be proud of. It's not that we're bad at what we do...we're definitely some of the most ambitious and passionate about our cause...so why are we doomed for nothing more than retiring at poverty level?
Recently Style Weekly published this article written by Don Harrison, which I think sums it up:
If you don't have time to read the whole article I'll try and sum it up in 200 words or less -
If you are in any way shape or form affiliated with the local music scene in Richmond, whether you're a booking agent, venue owner, coffee shop with acoustic acts, gallery owner with live music, or an A-room (like the National) that provides live music to the people of this city you're fucked. These places not only pay taxes to, The Federal Government, The State(VA), the ABC, and the city of Richmond...but currently the city proposes a "Night Club" tax be imposed on anyone who hosts live music!! The tax basically equates to MORE than what a business owner pays to insure their building a year!! Here's the kicker, the Virginia ABC does not allow any business to operate as a Night Club or Bar. YOU MUST BE A RESTAURANT and adhere to almost impossible ratio's of food to booze sales. Not to mention that if your insurance company catches wind of the fact that you are now being taxed as a "Night Club" and guess what!? Your premiums almost triple! Now fellow Richmonders we are not anti-tax, We're anti REPRESSION!!
I must ask you, how will small business's ever thrive in this climate??? How will new business's ever get their feet off the ground? Plenty of business's are already going under - so long Bagel Czar, adios Artist Underground, later Toad's Place, Alley Katz-the 'katz' outta the bag (your FOR SALE)...
Hmmm, what will we do bands, musicians, booking agents?? House shows perhaps? NOPE, you will be ticketed by this city for not possessing a BUSINESS LICENSE!! Maybe we can hang out and enjoy music at a small locally owned clothing store and offer donations to bands as thanks for playing for us? NOPE, this city will ticket the business owners and shut the place down!!
Looks like we're shit outta luck Richmond, I think we're going to 'Anne Frank it' and wait for the tyranny to subside...