The three-year plight of small businesses on Carden Street is being ignored by the Guelph Chamber of Commerce and given lip service by the city administration.
After three years of traffic disruption, both ends of Carden Street are now closed off or under construction at a snail’s pace.
From Ian Panabaker, the city’s downtown corporate manger, comes platitudes and excuses why there has been no relief for those businesses trying to cope with the lack of traffic. One business, a fixture for 26 years, has already quantified its losses at more than 80 per cent.
Where is the Chamber in all this? Are they not charged with protecting the interest of members and business in Guelph. Its silence is deafening. If the Chamber does not protect existing business in the city, what is its purpose in promoting new commercial and industrial development?
There seems to be a determination on the part of city staff to complete the rink in front of city hall. First they ordered paving stones from a supplier in New York State. That delivery has been delayed. Then the rains came . What’s next? The plague of locusts?
These small but key small business owners deserve better.
Start with a tax deduction while their businesses are impacted by long term construction.
If the city administration won’t stand up for them then who will? The Chamber of Commerce should be pressing the city to assist those businesses that have undergone business disruption for more than two years.
Because of the dire financial condition of the city, it is not about start making property tax handouts to small business affected by the city’s own misguided redevelopment.