HOLMES BEACH — Despite the rumors swirling across the Island, a UPS Store is unlikely to open in Holmes Beach any time soon.
The issue wasn’t on the city commission’s May 9 agenda, but several Island residents and business owners, along with UPS Store franchisee Bob Wright, appealed to commissioners during public comment.
Owners of Holmes Beach shipping and mailbox store, Island Mail and More, Rebecca and Eric St. Jean expressed concern that a UPS Store could potentially put them out of business and reduce shipping options for Islanders.
Island Mail and More offers shipping through FedEx, DHL, the United States Postal Service and UPS.
Other residents plead with commissioners to uphold an ongoing formula business moratorium which blocks franchise businesses from opening in the city until commissioners hash out a permanent regulations. The moratorium expires October 31.
“I don’t want to lose the mom and pop feeling on the Island,” resident and business owner John Clark said.
Wright had a different opinion.
“I think there’s enough room on this Island for more than one concept,” he said.
Wright argued a UPS Store would be a small business with a franchise concept, not a company-owned store.
City attorney Patricia Petruff said without the city’s formula business moratorium on the agenda for discussion, there was no action for commissioners to take.
With no exceptions allowed by the moratorium, a UPS Store cannot open in the city while it’s in effect. Current formula businesses are not affected by the moratorium. Whether additional formula or franchise businesses are allowed to open in the city will depend on what commissioners vote for at a later date.
Petruff suggested concerned citizens approach the commission during public comment when the moratorium is on a meeting agenda.
Though Wright sent an informal inquiry to Mayor Bob Johnson concerning potentially opening a UPS Store, no formal applications or variance requests have been registered with the city.
Holmes Beach isn’t the only Island city to address formula businesses. Anna Maria also has a moratorium in effect blocking formula businesses until permanent legislation can be determined. No legislation blocking formula businesses is in effect in Bradenton Beach.