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I’m glad the residents

of Southeast’s Hillcrest neighborhood are searching to get a restaurant to serve their needs (“Stripped Mall,” 11/1). Although it seems that the logical solution is to lure a chain restaurant, that does not help the neighborhood as much as if an establishment is locally owned and operated. Why pay franchise fees to a corporation located far away from D.C.? Instead, the banks have to be willing to lend money to a start-up business, local merchants should help out with expertise and advice, and local government officials should be trying to bring this all together and ease the way.

By doing this, the establishment captures the money that is instead drained away to Maryland or elsewhere in D.C., and the profits may be further invested in other local enterprises. If, however, the local banks don’t want to lend, and D.C. government does not want to get involved, why should a chain be interested? Self-help is far more beneficial in the short and long run.

Capitol Hill

via the Internet