Here's an equation well known in economics: population X per capita income = potential retail market demand.
Hudson at last count was home to 22,000 residents. This number has not changed over the last decade. If we look at Gross PerCapita Income, considering increasing federal and local taxes on income and property, rising costs for public services/education, increasing retail prices for consumer goods, and growing competitive pressures, Hudson must face declining potential demand. Not only will it be less today but will be worse in the foreseeable future.
If our local retailers -- food stores, restaurants, service stations, book stores, clothing goods outlets, etc., begin suffering, the hue and cry will be deafening. Segway tours, farmer's markets, wine festivals, etc. will not begin to compensate for lower potential demand. More retailers everywhere will be competing ruthlessly for that smaller buck.
So what should we do? A new marketing plan is not the answer. Seeking new commercial has been a disappointment.
Growing our own start-ups has been a failure.
Hudson needs a growing population for a healthy market demand. A larger population means a more vibrant economy. Managing city costs at less for less is critical. Cut heads. Consolidate jobs.
Council legislated a quota of 100 new homes in 2014. At Hudson's' average of 3.5 residents per household, at best, 350 new persons.
A land use plan some years ago pegged our capacity population at 28,000 souls, about 6,000 more. At the 350 yearly average by 2019 we will have gained only 1,750, towards what's needed.
Council needs to support more aggressive expansion. Rezone vacant land for residential development. Raise our bogey to 300 new homes each year. They should be in the $250,000 range for families with combined incomes of $75,000 per year. Result: Greater retail demand. Realism, not fiction.
Don Flower, Hudson