Boca businesses mostly rip signage decision

When you're selling bicycles that are $250 a pop, like Phil's Cycle Ward, you need all the help you can get.
 
"Shop opens up, first thing we do is put out the sign," said Tim Valencia, a worker there. "It's tough to advertise. It's expensive. Being able to have a sign outside is nice to capture the audience."
 
Phil's Cycle Ward is amongst the stores downtown to take advantage of the city's relaxed sandwich sign policy, started when businesses needed a boost during the recession.
 
Nail Depot just started doing hair.
 
"The sign helps for sure," said Stephanie Butera. "People driving by, it brings in newbies. Without something like this they'll never know."
 
Council ordered code enforcement this January to stop looking the other way.
 
The mayor, Susan Whelchel, says the signs, in all their shapes and sizes, are too hard to regulate, and too much in the way.
 
"People are trying to walk down the walkways, on the sidewalk, and the signs are out and there's trippage and dogs get their leashes tangled up," said Whelchel.
 
Despite what the mayor says about the recession, "We feel like we're coming out of that," she said.
 
Business owners say economic concerns are still too big to ignore.
 
The Nail and Hair Depot pointed to nearby abandoned businesses.
 
They want the city to think again, before code enforcement starts citing stores about sandwich signs on January 24.
 
"This is still something we need in the downtown area," said Butera. "People still go to the mall. If you want local people, you still need the signage."
 
The mayor says that the city wanted to give ample warning to stores to take their signs down, which is why they made the announcement six weeks before the January 24 deadline.
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