With the arrival of big box stores, our local business community has taken a direct hit. Through the Business Improvement Association (BIA) and in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce and the Town, we must work together to develop a strategy that will sustain existing businesses and attract new specialty stores.
With the addition of parking spaces for shoppers, and combined efforts to beautify the downtown corridor, we as a Town have come a long way to support our local merchants.
As YOUR MAYOR, I will endeavour to seek solutions to attract and retain businesses in the Bridge Street and downtown corridor. To enhance the vitality of the corridor, I propose the following:
- I will convene a meeting of the BIA and the Chamber of Commerce to review existing plans and strategies to attract out of Town shoppers, and I will explore strategies that have been successful in other communities.
- Promote the introduction of mentoring and co-op programs for new business owners to help them retain their customer base and attract new customers.
- With the assistance of the Municipal Heritage Committee I will investigate the advantages of establishing a Heritage Conservation District to preserve the heritage quality of store facades and promote the use of Facade Improvement Grants to downtown building owners
- In partnership, utilize the services of a new Economic Development Officer to pursue new complementary businesses and increase pedestrian traffic in the downtown corridor