Another of my ideas for encouraging a more balanced mix of downtown businesses is the creation of a "Good for Healdsburg Business Index," which would be a numerical rating system that scores businesses on their net beneficial impact to the community.
For example, a business would score well by being locally owned, by employing mostly residents, by giving back to the community, by paying its workers living wages, by proving a significant amount of patronage by locals. This system would be voluntary and the result would be a scorecard that the business can post in their window, much like restaurants currently post their County health inspection results.
Feedback from local business leaders about this idea suggests that a high score would also be an indication of long-term viability for that business. So it is conceivable that, with the right measures, this system could also serve as a guide to business investment in Healdsburg.
What would this index have to do with city government? Theoretically speaking, given that a tax could be considered a way of offsetting negative impacts of a business on the city, you could argue that a HIGH score on this index should mean LOWER taxes for community-friendly businesses. So I would like to investigate revisiting city business taxes based on the results of a similar index.