In the rush to find secure tenants, landlords and property owners are destroying Beacon Avenue as the retail hub of our small town.
That strategy – “anybody will do if they can pay the rent” – in the same way as Amazon and Costco are doing their best to wipe out small retail, will within a few years see the disappearance of the Sidney we now enjoy. Perhaps that does not matter to recent arrivals to our town. If so, they should rethink what attracted them to move here.
Unlike European countries – Germany, Holland, etc. – municipal authorities in B.C. and in fact Canada, have little control over who its shopkeepers are and what they sell. And, in my opinion, that’s the way it should be.
However, that places a serious responsibility on property owners, retailers and organizations supporting them to be very vocal, enhancing the importance of local retailers. All I hear now is a deafening silence. Sidney retailers, Wake up, speak up – Beacon retail has a very insecure future.
My wife and I have enjoyed being book retailers in Sidney for almost 40 years, but I’m glad we’re at the end of our careers, rather than the beginning.