RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.

Posted on Mar 2nd 2015 at 12:00:00 AM by (Crabmaster2000)
Posted under Game Quest, City Hall, Bylaw, Secondhand, Game Store, Retail

So you've been operating your retro game store for a few months now and things are going better than you could have hoped. Customers are happy, new stock is getting traded in on a regular basis, bank account is moving in the right direction. Nothing can bring you down. Cue Bylaw Enforcement Officer..........

Part I: http://www.rfgeneration.c...Political-Part-I-2967.php

Fortunately for me, I have a friend who works at City Hall. He was able to point me in the right direction and talk to a few City employees that walked me through the process of getting this bylaw changed. There were two ways to bring this to the attention of City Council: one was to write a letter to someone on the council and have them bring it up during a council meeting for consideration, and the second was to schedule a delegation and speak in front of council myself to attempt to sway them to my cause. Since public speaking is always so much fun, I first opted for the letter method. I spent a couple weeks crafting one I was happy with and had several friends and family help tweak it to perfection. Once I was happy with it, I emailed it to the mayor and each council member.

Since I strive to be as transparent with my business practices as possible, I posted on my store's Facebook page to let people know that I was going to attempt to fix these issues with the secondhand bylaw. Within a couple days, I got a response from the mayor saying that the city staff had looked into this matter and didn't feel my concerns warranted making changes to our city's secondhand goods bylaw. Not the response I was hoping for.

As luck would have it the letter I posted to show my customers that I was making an attempt to improve things started getting some traction though. We got calls from local radio stations, TV, and papers, and even a few local online news sites were asking for interviews. They all wanted to know about our situation and why it was hurting our business. All of the media attention got some of the city officials involved as they were forced to comment for these articles. I still hadn't heard anything from our council, but we got a lot of encouragement from the community, both gamers and non-gamers were wishing us luck.

With the new wave of support, I felt like I could use that momentum to take a stab at option two, schedule a delegation. I made appointments to meet with the city's head of legal and he walked me through the delegation process and told me what I would need to have a formal petition drafted. Satisfied with his help, I wrote up a petition and started gathering signatures. I did some digging and found another petition that had succeeded a few years prior in my city to relocate a drug addiction center, it had 200 signatures. I had a target now, I wanted to at least match those 200 signatures. Within a week, we had already cleared that goal so I decided to up the ante and push for 1000. We had an election coming up in the Fall, so I purposely scheduled my delegation for late August hoping that if I could show this council that we had enough community support, it would be worth listening to us to earn them some extra votes.

The Game Quest Petition in all it's glory!!

With the delegation scheduled, it gave me a couple of months to get my petition were it needed to be and to organize an event to get people together who supported the changes I wanted to make and come down to City Hall with me during my delegation.  I wanted to show our city officials that this was an important issue to our community. More interviews kept coming up, which gave me the opportunity to plug the petition and delegation date. Each time, another wave of people came in to sign and give words of encouragement. The petition gained a lot of traction and eventually surpassed our 1000 name goal and ended right around 1200 total signatures.

As soon as I had scheduled my chance to speak, I started working on my speech right away. I had a maximum of 10 minutes to get my point across clearly and effectively and I wanted to be prepared. I spent far too much time and effort doing online searches, emailing cities, and calling similar stores across my province looking for anything useful. I wanted the best chance of success so that meant not only asking them to change this bylaw, but to provide some alternate versions and a strong rationale behind them. It was looking grim until I found 1 single municipality in my province that had a secondhand bylaw that differed greatly from our own. Instead of a 30 day hold, they had a 7 day holding period, and "coincidentally," also had the largest secondhand video game store in the province. It was also easy to show that cities that strongly enforced this bylaw hampered these kinds of stores as even big chains like EB Games struggled to survive in a couple of areas. With what I was hoping was my "smoking gun," I started crafting my speech around it.

Stay tuned next month for more on our struggle against the forces of bureaucracy.......same Bat-Time same Bat-Channel!

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Good luck man I hope things work out for you.
Loving your blog.
Thanks guys Smiley
Setbacks, struggle, determination...... these stories have it all. Great read for anyone who is considering/has considered starting their own business.
Good luck Smiley. Keep fighting the good fight.
This is so stressful.  Will it work?  Won't it?  I'm cheering for you, Crab.  Hoping we can find a way to have Mike Hagger pile-driving city hall pretty soon.
@singlebanana: Just wait until I get to the romance and betrayal!!
@Crabmaster2000: I'm still upset at our breakup.
@Duke.Togo: Everyone knows we are the rfgen Ross and Rachael. On again off again.....
GAWD! Get a room guys.
I can't wait for the next exciting chapter!

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