"Do you begin the word absurd with a capital ‘A’ or a little ‘A’?" That was the reaction of business owners when hearing the city wants to charge new businesses a $50 application fee to open here in Laredo. "You know $50 is not going to scare anyone away. It's just the whole idea of you know, we sit back day in and day out and see stores continue to close. And then we look at out city government and say, 'what are they doing to help stop the bleeding.' So far they have not been able to find the right band-aid to stop the bleeding." Seventy businesses sit closed downtown, and local business owners tell me this new fee is just unnecessary. "I've just never seen the city this desperate before, I mean this fee is ridiculous.” "If they would spend as much time and as much passion trying to help us, we wouldn't be in this same situation we are now, with over 70 locations empty." Assistant city manager, Horacio De Leon said this $50 fee is for new businesses and businesses that wish to change their name. "The permit will allow business to come in, report what kind of business they are going to be and where their location will be and this will be a tracking record for the city to make sure all ordinances are being applied. "We estimate new businesses open up and there is name changes that will require a certificate of occupancy, which as a result, the possible new revenue would be about $60,000." Any businesses that violate this ordinance could face a $500 fine.