Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Ottawa small businesses want the city’s support amid high rent, costs

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Small businesses in Ottawa are asking for “sweeping reforms to community support” for viability following the detrimental effects of the pandemic.

The Grove Studio – a local business in Hintonburg – started the initiative. It said in a news release on Wednesday 110 small businesses came together to write one letter to the Mayor of Ottawa, Mark Sutcliffe.

“Unless the City of Ottawa drastically changes how it supports small businesses, the social fabric of our vibrant and unique communities is at risk,” reads the letter.

“Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, we have seen countless businesses in our communities close due to rising inflation and uncontrolled rent hikes. Now that we have reached the so-called post-pandemic era, long-standing community hubs like The Yard and Orange Art Gallery are set to close.”

The letter calls on Sutcliffe and the city to address five key issues, including a lack of rent control measures and grants for small businesses, an “increase in street harassment and violence and overdependence on police instead of community-based supports,” and a lack of promotion and celebration of the “amazing small businesses” in Ottawa.

It was sent to the mayor on March 13.

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