There is an obvious answer on how to attract workers to the island. Pay them to come.
For 20 years, people have wondered how to attract workers and it always comes down to some kind of subsidy from the taxpayers. Since I’m not an island businessperson, that hasn’t seemed attractive to me.
A first priority of a business is to secure customer base and a workforce to service it.
I might be your customer, but surely I’m not going to directly pay for your workforce. As islanders, we must come to grips with the fact that shopping, dining and drinking on the island will be more expensive. Businesses must come to grips with the fact that some types of businesses will not be successful on the island. This is not Coney Island. This is a place where people pony up very high prices for their dwelling places.
With low-cost, subsidized housing comes the inevitable increase in the crime rate and there are two things that will destroy an upscale tourist destination. Shabby buildings and a high crime rate. (Polluted waters will do the trick also.) If the tourists don’t come, who needs workers? If downscale tourists are attracted, then what happens to our property values?
I have come to terms with island pricing and will continue to shop, dine and dance on Hilton Head Island. It’s a beautiful place and is well worth the price.
Don’t let the greedy pave over our island. We’ve got the votes.
Peter F. Zych
Hilton Head Island