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Decwells Hardware on voting for DublinTown

  • Mon 03 July, 2017

A vote for the renewal of DublinTown is currently underway.

During this process, member businesses in the BID (Business Improvement District) area will receive a ballot paper in the post to be returned by 12noon on Monday, July 17th 2017. Members are asked to vote yes or no to renew this organisation for a further five years. Business owner, David Baker of Decwells on South Great George’s Street, has issued the following letter to members giving his reasons why he will be voting yes.

From one business to another, let’s keep DublinTown going

Dear Fellow Trader,

Like you, I operate a business in Dublin City Centre facing the typical day to day problems that we all face. My business, Decwells in South Great George’s St opened 33 years ago. For 23 of those years, I struggled as a retailer to introduce improvements in our area through a local traders’ association that we set up.


Probably the best example I can give you is the Christmas lights. Year after year, I painstakingly canvased the local businesses to contribute
to the cost of putting Christmas lights up in our streets. Year after year the same people paid and unfortunately the same people did not pay.
There was nothing we could do about that. Four out of every 10 did not pay. Naturally this placed a larger cost burden on the six out of 10
who did.


Dublin City Council (DCC) made it abundantly clear that they never had and never would pay for Christmas street lighting, so, we were on our own. It was a regular feature on the Joe Duffy Show every December. Now at least everyone pays which you have to agree can only be described as fair.


For me personally, it took me away from my business more than I could afford. When the BID (TA DublinTown) was first introduced I had my reservations. I felt that we were paying enough in rates and why should we have to pay another body (BID) to do, what I saw as largely a duplication of what DCC were supposed to be doing anyway. The thing is that DCC were not carrying out their duty as caring city managers. They did what they wanted to do, not what we needed to be done. It did not take me long to realise that with this attitude, I and everyone else like me were never going to have a voice never mind an impact with DCC.


We needed a representative body. Let me give you an example. If you are the owner of a business in a shopping centre anywhere, you pay your rent to the landlord, management fees to a management company, you don’t have a choice. The management company is responsible for the marketing and promotion of your centre. I would ask you to consider that you and your business are trading in the best shopping centre in Ireland – Dublin City Centre. Why would you not want this message to be constantly driven home? Day after day, week after week, month after month on your business’ behalf? That’s what the Business Improvement District (BID) does on our behalf and indeed a lot more.
This is not and never was the remit of the council.


I have first-hand experience of how futile and lonely it is to be an independent Dublin City Centre retailer/business trying to deal with the authorities. On your own you have no clout or clear voice and you are certainly not listened to. As part of the BID, we are together big and small and we are not ignored. What I also think is important is the fact that the BID hold DCC to account for as much as we can get to do, before the BID do everything else. If we loose the BID as an entity we will be taking 20 steps backwards and this is an age when retail in itself is becoming far more complex and competitive. The current threat of online purchasing is only in its infancy. Unless we as independent retailers join together under an umbrella group such as the BID, we will be in deep trouble. Nothing surer. Those who are canvassing against the BID are putting not only the future of their own business in jeopardy, but yours as well.

Don’t let this happen,
David Baker Decwells DIY