Letter to The President of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce
Hello, (President) John Sawyer, I am writing to you today to inform you of my concern for the Downtown Business Owners current plight of decreased sales along with many Merchants actually closing their stores along our beautiful lakefront core areas. As a 20 year resident I have shopped on numerous occasions along the Lakeshore Road retail areas and have always enjoyed the personal and friendly service that is lacking in the Big Box stores.
Having said that, I would like to propose my commitment to all the Business Owners. As Mayor of Oakville, I would personally negotiate with all the Property Owners to decrease the Merchants rents for the next two years by 50%. In turn, when necessary, I would offer the equivalent property tax reduction to the Property Owner. I would keep negotiating until an Agreement is concluded. As a former full-time Professional Real Estate Agent, I successfully negotiated close to 3000 transactions and I believe that as Mayor of Oakville, those skills will prove useful towards solving the current "crisis" for business entrepreneurs. I have read the hundreds of comments from actual shoppers who have frequented the shops on our Lakeshore and the majority have indicated that the rents are just simply too high along with the Property taxes being also too expensive. (The comments coming from an article in The Toronto Star recently.) With the 50% savings in their rents, the Business Owners could reinvest those savings into price reductions on their inventory, hire local sales help again rather than going it alone, increase more choices in their stock etc.
Mayor Rob Burton is stating that Oakville businesses have more competition than in the past, that these businesses are not alone, that Merchants need to be alert and reinvent themselves. His two studies, The Cultural Hub and Streetscape plans might help a small amount however, they seem to me to be more a facade than doing something more direct and immediate. For the record, I am not anti-business and believe in the free market environment but I also believe that Government should get directly involved when and where necessary to keep encouraging people to invest in Oakville. I welcome your thoughts on this matter.
Kind regards, Gordon Brennan Registered Mayor Candidate. (905) 827-3894 2141 Woodgate Drive Oakville, Ont. L6M-4E1