Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Chicago’s lone Wal-Mart has pumped $10M into city coffers, report says

Food for thought as the city continues to dance around whether or not they should allow a second Wal-Mart to be built. Especially on the land on Holland Dr. and 83rd Street. Crain's:
Proponents who want to see more Wal-Marts in Chicago point to a report that says the chain’s first, and so far only, city store has generated $10.3 million in sales tax revenue in its first two years.

The report card, released Wednesday, showed that $5.3 million came in the second year, and half of that amount benefited the city, Regional Transportation Authority and Cook County.

“Wal-Mart has proven to be an incredible economic engine for the West Side of Chicago,” Alderman Emma Mitts (37th) said about the store, which opened in her ward in the Austin neighborhood in 2006. Her office compiled the report.

The report revives an ongoing battle over whether the Bentonville, Ark.-based retail giant should be allowed to open more stores in the city. So far, that idea has been met with much resistance from unions and some aldermen. The retailer has faced a parade of setbacks since City Council allies in 2006 narrowly defeated a proposed measure, known as the “big-box” minimum wage law, that would have required Wal-Mart and other retailers to pay employees more than smaller shops.
Don't think Howard Brookins of the 21st hasn't given up on a Wal-Mart in his ward yet...
Alderman Howard Brookins (21st) on Wednesday said he plans to introduce a measure next year that would revive the push for a store in Chatham.

“I’m more committed to this project than ever,” said Mr. Brookins, who has criticized Mayor Richard M. Daley for bowing to union pressure.

He added that the city needs the store more than ever, as Wal-Mart is one of the few retailers generating sales amid the economic slowdown. “We really have to rethink our position on Wal-Mart,” he said. With unemployment on the rise, “jobs are at a premium. This would be a significant economic stimulus for the community.”

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