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Today on the Rochester Today show, Rochester City Council President, Randy Staver, spoke to many Rochester listeners, but one, in particular, had strong words for Staver, the mayor, and the entire council. The call was about lost business during the pandemic.

First some background. The call came on the heels of a Tap House Facebook post we wrote about...

The Tap House just went off on Facebook, blasting the City of Rochester for "abandoning" the restaurant and bar industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the post, which you can read below, the downtown bar says it has received no funding from the CARES Act and unfortunately just had to lay off more of their staff.

"Rochester City Officials.... Downtown is dying on the vine. Businesses are barely hanging on. BARELY...The Downtown Tap House has not received ANY of the Cares Act Liquor License Grant $$. Not. One. Dime. Businesses have laid off staff. We just laid off more staff. We have been told by the City to "get more creative". Combine that with the fact the State and City have closed our bars, restricted our dining rooms... And our hours." Read more here.

Tap play to hear the segment. Scroll down to read the transcript.

Scroll down to see a list of the businesses Rochester lost in 2020

Listen to today's entire episode of Rochester Today below:

TRANSCRIPT OF CONVERSATION
Automatically generated transcipt. You may find errors, please refer to podcast above for clarification.

Caller (00:00):
Good morning. I was calling just to say that I think our, um, city speed limit on the streets is such a small, low priority. I'm not sure that the city council really understands or cares. And the mayor included in this, that these downtown businesses are dying. That's our tax base people when our tax base dies. So does the rest of our city and having ready choose who gets loans. Ready's not elected for you to make a T for you to rubber stamp what Reddy says. You're the elected officials that need to make the decisions. Do you need to know who you're talking about? You need to know what these people need and having to go out and social media and put out their dire cry that they're not getting help from the city is beyond understanding. And if you don't care about the tax space, you know, your pay increases were included in what the city pays and what these businesses paid. And you just said something about, do you want the government making decisions on your speed limit? Well, right now we got the government making decisions on if we are, or are not able to go to restaurants and bars after 10:00 PM. So we have such a double standard, but why don't you understand these businesses are dying?

Randy Staver (01:38):
Okay. I, I, uh, I can certainly understand and appreciate the comments. I, I can't, uh, argue with, with those, um, part of the, let me go back and explain why Reddy is involved. And it's a contractual relationship between the city and ready, and it's all my, because that's their expertise. That's what they do. Um, they, they use funds and they evaluate a number of business proposals of businesses coming to Rochester and so forth. And so they have the experience and the tools to evaluate, um, business proposals and then determine, uh, they should be funded. And that's just on the ready side. So we felt that they had kind of built in resources and expertise to take that on that, that the city, quite frankly, didn't have. Um, so,

Caller (02:33):
but they're not elected to make those decisions. They're not elected you, are you the city council and the mayor, and you're not making the decisions. You're rubber stamping what they're saying.

Randy Staver (02:47):
That is true. Well, there is an element of trust there that they, uh, are doing their due diligence again, bas ed on their expertise that we don't necessarily have...

Caller (02:59):
So how do you answer the people, the business owners downtown or anywhere for that matter that have been told that they are part of this sum of money that is being given to small business owners. That is basically a lie because they are not part of it. If they're not chosen by ready and rubber stamp when it comes though and is rubber stamped by the council.

Randy Staver (03:25):
And once again, they, uh, in some of the businesses, like the one we were talking about earlier, uh, we would have to say what the criteria were that it, uh, either reduced or rejected, uh, their, their funding request.

Caller (03:41):
I hope the city council in their study sessions puts a little less effort in things that are very minimal, such as speed limit changes, and a lot more effort into what's going to affect the tax base and the operating the council is not going to come back and say, or your fabulous staff and say, Oh, well, we're going to need more money because of the COVID outbreak. Now, um, we've got that covered as long as the city and the County understand that they're going to have to take some cuts too, and not just raise it the rest of our tasks.

Randy Staver (04:13):
Right.

Caller (04:14):
Okay.

James Rabe (04:15):
Thank you for calling in, I appreciate it.

Listen to James Rabe Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11-Noon on KROC AM 1340 and 96.9 FM and Weekdays with Jessica Williams Weekday from 6 - 10 AM on Y-105 FM