By Sherman R. Frederick
It’s a smart play. The City of Novato and local merchants have decided to block off Grant Avenue in downtown Novato on the weekends for pedestrians. The closure will occur from 1 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Monday starts this weekend and lasts through the summer.
A lot of folks think this should happen year-round. Not sure I’d go that far without a more solid plan on parking, but this move may — we all hope — spur businesses in downtown Novato.
And, believe me, Novato businesses need the help. I can think of at least six Novato businesses who have announced they won’t reopen. This will give downtown a boost (full disclosure: our offices are located on Grant Avenue). But, if we’re honest, the city can to do more.
I hope the city rescinds the minimum wage hike it imposed on Novato businesses last year. It doesn’t take place until July, so dropping the idea now is a no-harm, no-foul play for the city. Novato is the only city in Marin to make the accelerated minimum wage move. And, frankly, with the COVID-19 shutdown, no other Marin city is going to follow.
Dropping it now makes good sense, too.
(Sherman R. Frederick is the publisher of the Novato Advance. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)