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LocalShops1 Petition a Success!

Thursday, September 3, 2015  
Posted by: LocalShops1
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Great news! The City has changed its RFP to even out the playing field for local restaurants.

Thanks everyone for your support! 

In just three days, an online petition started by LocalShops1 and circulated by hundreds of concerned business owners and communoty-minded residents gathered more than 1,000 supporters. The best part? In less than a week, the city listened to the residents' concerns and changed the RFP language to even out the playing field for local restaurants! Thanks, Mayor Kriseman and the entire St Pete City Council! Read more about this in the Tampa Bay Times


Below is a copy of our initial call to action:

The petition asks the City of St. Petersburg to remove the clause that favors national chains in the city's RFP for the new Pier restaurant. The language at issue appears on page 6 of the RFP, which states "the preferred proposal would “offer a nationally or regionally recognized chain restaurant or uniquely branded destination restaurant.”

You can read the entire RFP for the Pier restaurant here.

On page 6 of the City of St. Petersburg’s RFP for the new Pier restaurant, under Section XI, it says the preferred proposal would “offer a nationally or regionally recognized chain restaurant or uniquely branded destination restaurant.”

The new Pier will, undoubtedly, be a focal point for our beautiful city; a must-stop destination for tourists and a gathering place for our local community. The Pier should proudly showcase our local flavors and our local vibe, be a reflection of all that’s great about St. Petersburg and the Tampa Bay region.

We kindly ask Mayor Kriseman and the City Council to amend the desired qualifications by removing the “nationally or regionally recognized chain restaurant” clause, and leaving it simply as “the preferred proposal would offer a uniquely branded destination restaurant.”


Why it matters
Here are just a few of the hundreds of comments from people who signed our petition:

"This city needs to support LOCAL. It's the only way to keep the new Pier 'uniquely branded' -- the exact reasons why visitors come here!" -- Michele Tuegel, owner of Michele Tuegel Contemporary

"A local restaurant would encourage us to visit the new pier when we come from North Carolina to vacation at Treasure Island!" Palmer McCall, tourist 

"I have grown up here, I have watched this city grow from being overrun with gutter punks and empty, boarded up store fronts to a charming and internationally appealing vacation destination. St. Pete has done this without any major food chains. We, as a city, have always had restaurants built, owned and operated by our neighbors that rise above and beyond the standards of chain restaurants. Why would anyone ever even consider giving a corporate food chain a coveted space in the new pier isn't just inconceivable, it's disrespecting the hardworking business owners that have gotten this city this far without any corporate fodder."  -- Mellisa Adamec, St. Petersburg resident

"I think we should have something unique and local for our visitors at The Pier. NO chain restaurant will draw them there. They can get that where they came from....they want the local flavor of St. Pete!" -- Susan Robertson, Museum of Fine Arts marketing director & former marketing director at the Pier

"Your target market finds value in unique cuisine as in farm-to-table, soul food, or other food with heart, not national chains. People have changed." Amy Sauers, associate professor at St. Petersburg College