Comment 73838

By Borrelli (registered) | Posted February 07, 2012 at 12:59:55 in reply to Comment 73829

I realize that 'some' people want an 'avante-garde', alternative, 'hipster' business in the core, but if we're talking some kind of store tied into development...then it's gonna be a 'major'.

I'm not sure if I'm 'some' people, but I'll be clear:

1) Downtown residents are NOT poorly served, and I bristle at suggestions made by people who don't even live anywhere near DT that we are.

As others have pointed out, there are plenty of resilient, independent businesses in the core that meet the varied shopping needs of downtown's wonderfully diverse population. Thus, we do not need to entice anyone to open a business that would otherwise be unprofitable without a taxpayer subsidy.

2) Businesses live and die, yes, but if your assertion that the eventual tenant will be 'major' is correct, then as a resident of the core, I don't want to see my options limited and homogenized, and I don't want to see empty shop-fronts on James N. again, because a Halal market couldn't compete with a WalMart we didn't need.

The low-margin business model under which some 'major' chains operate will offer minimum wage, part-time jobs, offering no net benefit to our neighbourhoods. Time and time again, we've seen that these race-to-the-bottom businesses only threaten the many small businesses currently operating.

Chasing economic development is fine, but not for ED's sake alone. And if we're going to talk about spending money on ED in the core, let's talk about development (like housing and good jobs) that will get people to move here, rather than just stop by for a pint of milk on the way home.

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