"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

It's not all bad

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Business does not thrive by chance":

Realistically, you can't expect small downtown stores to thrive when the town is encouraging big box stores on the outskirts. I don't fault anyone, this is called progress. The big box stores have the inventory, the displays and sometimes the price. Service at some is good and others poor. Parking in the huge paved lots is generally always available at no cost.

The once personal barber shop and hair dresser are in the franchise and mall mode too. This is also apparently progress.

Down towns all across the province see ups and downs as new retailers give it a try. The failure rate is unfortunately quite high.

I think it is all about small retailers looking for that special niche. The town cannot offer much other than clean safe streets and of course parking. 

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 20 August 2014 14:58


Our town is a perfect study. Malls were built north and south Each within a fifteen minutes drive. 

One business moved to  the mall. It lasted a few years. Other business owners retired after a bit. 
Department stores  in malls stopped selling  some products ;yarn shops,fabric stores, hats.

Simpsons and Eaton's disappeared  and a numbers of others.

Life time careers  and occupations disappeared with the free trade deal. Severance packages were invested in small business and franchises. Franchises disappeared.  Some were scams in the first place set up to cheat people with severance packages.

Some businesses survived the onslaught. They got better at meeting the competition.

Aurora Home Hardware. Mike Evans True Value Hardware. Canadian Tire. Mac Fleming Paint and Wallpaper and Beautiful  Home Accessories obviously  learned  how to survive. The Hardware store in Oak Ridges started up by an Aurora group in the worst. If times and survived until the best of times.

Caruso's, the oldest of them all, still open their doors every day. Phyllis still does beautiful flower arrangements.I received one recently

A town can support business  without corporate welfare.

 Exorbitant fees for small changes are not helpful. SIgn Bylaws that  require  massive application fees and politicians to approve.

Clubs that pay no taxes  competing for  available trade and politicians who turn a blind eye .

Certainly a town and business can  and should work together.

At the very least business should ,like residents , feel the town is more than a bunch of bafflegab.


Anonymous said...

I think all councillors (potential and actual) should have some retail experience so they can properly understand what is involved in running a small shop/restaurant/business before meddling in the lives of those who do this sort of thing for a living.

Anonymous said...

I agree - the town & businesses could work together. So far what I have been seeing is planning that concentrates on the window-dressing of buildings and landscaping details both of which might have to be altered if the ownership of the property should change.
Parking would be a great asset but then the residents from the old library area have been asking for that for literally years.
[ I do not live there but can see the problems ]

Anonymous said...

Really, *all* councillors, 19:35?

Anonymous said...

The problem with the perception of retailers that have come and gone is looking at them in an isolated way.

Evelyn lists Aurora Home Hardware, True Value, Canadian Tire as examples of "local" businesses that have learned to survive. But, what she fails to see or acknowledge, all of those examples are franchises of much larger "corporate" operations. The local retailer is able to leverage the buying power of the corporate entity. As a tradeoff, they sacrifice their ability to set prices and policies. At some point, a corporate manager reviews the viability of an outlet and if it is not profitable, they will cut it loose in a heartbeat.

Looking at the Aurora downtown there are very few independant retail operations. They tend to come and go with regularity as the owners try new opportunities.

As far as the suggestion that councillors should have retail experience, that is not a realistic expectation. If a councillor has common sense and is willing to listen to the electorate (including the small business operation), they can be much more effective. But, when you have councillors that claim that they know better than anyone else, you have a recipe for disaster.

Anonymous said...

Ideally a well rounded council should have a mix of elected people with different experienced backgrounds, who can bring different perspectives, ideas to the table. What we need is to eliminate all the backroom political bull s**t that goes on that straps this Town from doing business.

Anonymous said...

The Auroran seems to be all up

Anonymous said...

It's still missing 2 middle pages

Anonymous said...

"Ideally a well rounded council should have a mix of elected people with different experienced backgrounds, who can bring different perspectives, ideas to the table."

True dat.