An economic developer was killed by a falling smokestack at a public event in which he announced the community’s new business recruitment strategy. The event took place at the former Skratz Cement factory to an audience of primarily local business owners.
Before his untimely demise, Lew Scannon, the city’s economic development director said that, “We are pleased to announce our aggressive new program to recruit new businesses into our community. These new companies will need to hire many new employees. It’s a tight labor market but we are telling them that they can always poach the employees of the businesses here in town. By increasing the number of companies competing for workers in a tight labor market, this is sure to force all businesses to pay higher wages. Profitability isn’t that important anyway and this will help our city raise our average income.”
The economic development team further explained the plan includes prioritizing the attraction of national mega stores so that city residents won’t be forced to walk to multiple businesses along Main Street to buy from the locally owned small businesses. “Going to one shop for clothes, another for chocolate, another for a coffee, and then eating at a restaurant, followed by walking to get dessert at the ice cream parlor takes a lot of time. Walking can be exhausting. Also, we learned at an IEDC (Intergalactic Economic Development Corporation) training that the more time you spend somewhere, the more money you spend. We’re going to save you time and money that you currently spend at these mom-and-pop businesses. I think we can all agree no one needs moms or pops.”
Local entrepreneurs were not pleased with this plan and said that the city’s business attraction strategy would raise their operating costs and put them out of business. “Why are our taxes funding the jobs of these economic developers that hurt local businesses?” said 43-year resident, Dusty Carr, a local owner of windshield repair service Pane in the Glass.
To add insult before permanent injury, a local farmer that sells goods at the Downtown Farmer’s Market threw an organic tomato at Director Scannon right before Assistant Director Annie Hew announced the successful recruitment of the Umbrella Corporation as well as the department’s new program to not charge local taxes for Internet companies located outside of the city. “Local businesses will be charged, of course,” said Hew.
However, before the details of the new program were explained, the factory’s 73-year-old smokestack rumbled and then fell to the ground crushing former Director Scannon to death.
“All deaths are sad. However, we will proceed with the Chamber of Commerce beer tasting this evening at Breaus Brothers Pub,” said Chamber president Anita Drank.
Al Dente, owner of Italian restaurant Scola La Pasta, expressed concern about new businesses and residents. “I just hope these new businesses and their people don’t come from California because all the Californians moving here have sent our property prices through the roof. They are buying homes all cash and locals can barely afford a down payment. I’ve heard a lot of them vote for that other party too.”
After the event, Mayor Krystal Ball said that, “Maybe this is a cosmic sign that the age of smokestack chasing economic development is over.”
Reporting on this story comes to you from Renata Rapporteur. Happy April Fools!