Westfield Is A Small Business?!

by CalWatchdog Staff | November 2, 2010 2:31 pm

Anthony Pignataro:

In addition to voting today, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger also asked the U.S. Small Business Administration to declare Placer County a “disaster area.” His reason: the Oct. 21 fire[1] that damaged the Westfield Galleria in Roseville.

“[T]here will be an overwhelming economic impact to many businesses in the mall, as well as in the surrounding community,” Schwarzenegger wrote [2]to SBA Field Operations Center West Director Alfred E. Judd. “In light of this information, I request you declare Placer County a disaster area in order to provide assistance in the form of disaster loans for those adversely affected by this incident.”

Um, wha? Since when is Westfield Galleria — part of the Westfield Group, which is an international conglomerate worth $61 billion[3] — a “small business” deserving of special assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration? Since when is a fire at a shopping mall (that didn’t even injure anyone) a “disaster” that will plague an entire county?

And since when… oh, why bother. Arnold is just being Arnold: if there’s a free handout from the fed out there, he’ll grab at it. Also, Westfield helped him out during his 2006 reelection campaign (to the tune of $44,600 according to this California Secretary of State campaign finance chart[4]), so I guess he’s just returning a little of that love.

Of course, the ironic truth is that the Roseville mall’s damage and partial closure actually helps local small businesses — people gotta shop somewhere, you know, so if they can’t go the mall, they’ll just have to go elsewhere, perhaps even to some mom & pop store that’s somehow still open…

NOV. 2, 2010

  1. Oct. 21 fire: http://www.atf.gov/press/releases/2010/10/102710-sf-westfield-galleria-mall-fire-ruled-arson.html
  2. wrote : http://gov.ca.gov/press-release/16401/
  3. $61 billion: http://westfield.com/corporate/
  4. this California Secretary of State campaign finance chart: http://cal-access.sos.ca.gov/Campaign/Committees/Detail.aspx?id=1015708&view=contributions&session=2005

Source URL: https://calwatchdog.com/2010/11/02/westfield-is-a-small-business/