Small Businesses Accuse Missouri City Of Forcing Them Out

Three small businesses are suing a St. Louis suburb, accusing the local government of sneakily steamrolling them to make a hefty profit through a deal that could financially cripple longtime mom-and-pop shops.

“All the politicians say every day on the news how great we are, but when we’re in their way, we’re not so great,” Feather-Craft Fly Fishing President Bob Story said about small businesses. “You can be a part of a community for 30-plus years and be treated like you’re worthless.”

The city of Brentwood, Missouri, is threatening to use eminent domain to force out businesses on a major road for a multi-million dollar redevelopment plan. A few longtime business owners accused the city of making a groundless claim that the area has been “blighted” to justify the lucrative project on Manchester Road, leading them to file their lawsuit.

But Green Street, the developer behind the project, estimated it would generate more than $266 million in new revenue over the next 25 years.

“If it hasn’t happened to you yet, just wait,” said Roxanne Maier, co-owner of Convergence Dance and Body Center on Manchester Road. “We have to care about this, because this will not change unless we do something about it. This will not change unless we stand up.”

Feather-Craft Fly Fishing opened its doors on Manchester Road in 1989, but the family business tracks back to 1955 when Story’s father wanted to instill his love for fly-fishing in others, a passion he would later introduce to his son.

Read more here from Fox Business.