Essex, Massachusetts Needs More Entertainment!
We, the undersigned, are a group of Essex, Massachusetts residents, business owners and interested parties. We are writing to request that the Essex Board of Selectman withdraw an assortment of draft entertainment licensing proposals generated by a self appointed group of town residents who seek to dramatically limit opportunities for entertainment, promotion and revenue generation for the town of Essex. In fact, the rules that have been promulgated are virtually meaningless, likely unenforceable and almost certainly actionably by both business owners and local residents.
We further call upon the Select Board to consider more reasonable licensing requirements that extend hours for live music, whether indoors or outdoors, and ensure that the entire town, not simply self selected “abutters” have input both on policy decisions and any subsequent licensing requests. Cape Ann has always been a haven for the performing arts and the nearby communities of Gloucester, Manchester, Beverly and Salem have multiple venues both indoors and outdoors that draw countless people into these communities to enjoy these live performances and to patronize local businesses.
At a time when the town’s traditional tourist attractions, antique businesses, have declined our community is now supported by a considerable number of hospitality businesses. These entrepreneurs depend on customers beyond the residents of Essex. Moreover, while the town faces growing fiscal demands it is imperative that we work together and think outside the box about ways to draw both consumers of Essex goods and services as well as business investors who will continue to grow the town’s financial viability. .
Our group has come together to provide support for local business owners and to demonstrate to the Essex Board of Selectmen strong and enthusiastic backing for more evenhanded and thoughtful approach to entertainment licensing rules. We believe that we cannot and should not allow a small group of agitators who represent the worst of “Not In My Back Yard” to dictate policy for a large and diverse community of Essex supporters both in our town and neighboring communities.
It is time for the Select Board step up and focus on the overall economic wellbeing of the town instead of being distracted by the specific interests of a select few. While we recognize that alternative proposals may not have surfaced as the current proposals have been circulated that only underscores our concerns that this is a complex issue that deserves more time and attention. Lets all stop for a second, hit reset, and tackle this challenge as a community.
Essex Residents for Responsible Business Development