Comment 74247

By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted February 12, 2012 at 05:45:01

Here's an interesting Letter to the Editor at The Spec:

Support downtown’s existing groceries

Recent articles lament the lack of a grocery store downtown. Yet there at least three grocery stores downtown that I am aware of. Perhaps they are not counted because they are not part of the chains, or perhaps because they are Asian markets.

Yet they carry all the necessary food items. Produce, meat, fish, eggs, dairy, pasta and grocery items are all available, and usually higher quality and fresher than the chains.

So why does the city find it necessary to subsidize the large chains, rather than support local small business with subsidies for expansion?

Jose Kaufman, Hamilton

There seems to be a bias against 'chains'. There seems to be a reluctance to have 'competition'. Which, having spent a life in retail, I understand. I am on-board with the idea of a subsidy being inappropriate, especially if we're just trying to lure a 'major'. And I guess that I have a bias towards what a 'supermarket' can provide, as opposed to 'supercornerstores'. (Which I've shopped at no matter where I've lived, supported them in good community conscience...but eventually got the bulk of my groceries at a 'chain' store.)

Again, I think this is a super topic for discussion, because not only does it mobilize people's imaginations about their own communities, it helps reduce the conflation at play. But we do need to be having these discussions in the same room, if only to provide a much-needed imprimatur to the dialogue.

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2012-02-12 06:12:12

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