The public opinion phase is now open on the proposed new levy being considered for Manitou Market Mall. "We are looking into activating the Pay Group Liabilities and Receive Group Dividends option for Mall merchants if it even works in GCG" said Winter Silversmith CAO Manitou Tourism.
"It costs over MC$230,000 to operate Silversmith Estates (7 regions, Corran Journal, Manitou Tourism, GCG Pulse, contests and more) each year and while the MC$14,775 in donations received so far in 2016 are greatly appreciated they barely make a dent in our expenses." The Manitou Tourism group provides advertising for the mall and merchants free of charge, provides free rental space and runs a website to promote Manitou as a whole including the shopping district. "We may piss off a few merchants but the MC$1-2 a week isn't going to make a huge impact on your wallet. The other option we considered was to start charging rental fees in 2017 that could cost anywhere from MC$25 to MC$200 per week per merchant" said Winter. The Liabilities option was always a thorn for SecondLife members, some did not mind paying the dues while others live free and were disturbed by negative balances on their wallet.
Winter explained the mall and it's contribution to Manitou, "The mall accounts for only fourteen percent of Manitou so if it closed down and were replaced by housing we would not be impacted that much as a community. I have always strived to provide free housing to members and my philosophy has been you only need one store in the grid to make money. The idea of having twenty shops in twenty regions makes sense in the Real World but not in a place where the other side of the grid map is only a click away. This is how kiosks came about, we allow merchants a small space to promote their wares and direct potential customers to a larger store they may have on another region".
Right now Manitou Tourism is looking for merchant feedback from its shop owners in Meaford. "Like I said, I don't even know if the option works in the group in OpenSim but if it does and I turn it on this month I don't want a dozen pissed off merchants pounding on my IM" said Winter. Merchants will receive this article in the Group and are asked to send a notecard to Winter Silversmith with their opinion on liability fees and rental fees in general.
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We are a roleplay publication featuring activities in the Manitou, GCG regions and beyond.
Kevin M. Klerks, Editor
(aka Winter Silversmith)