Keeping Downtown Vancouver Independent

BC Independents Losing Market Share

Late last year, we engaged Civic Economics to update the 2013 study they conducted on the market share held by independent businesses. The latest Statistics Canada data available shows that in the two years since, there has been a continued downward slide in market share for B.C.’s businesses. They are losing market share at a greater rate than the national average, slipping to 33.7% recently, maintaining the third lowest market share in the country. Business improvement areas, governments and others will need to step up efforts to support local businesses, and where possible, ease the financial and bureaucratic burdens on local businesses to keep our local economy thriving.

 

The B.C. Real Estate Crisis

Independent businesses are also challenged by B.C.’s red hot real estate market. As land prices increase the pressure to develop or renovate existing commercial spaces, businesses are having a hard time securing affordable spaces. New retail spaces in mixed use developments are often not designed for smaller businesses, are too costly, or are specifically seeking leases with multinationals that they see as offering greater security. The loss is to our local economy, with the associated jobs and suppliers that will suffer, but also to our communities – risking that our streets will look like every street every where – with the same formulaic chain stores.

Granville Street in Transition

Granville Street is in transition, and Southern Granville has a number of vacancies. Rather than leave the neighbourhood to the whims of the market, and the potential to populate the Street with multinational chains,The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA)  is leading the charge to encourage independent businesses to see the opportunity that the neighbourhood presents. LOCO has been working with the DVBIA to assess any challenges to independent businesses locating on Granville, to catalogue available leases, identify opportunities to support local businesses and encourage more to locate to the area.

If you or someone you know is looking for a leasing opportunity, get in touch. Look for the results of our research in April 2017.

 

About Amy Robinson

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