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Letter: Despite vacant storefronts, many West Point Grey businesses still thriving

Re: “ West Point Grey businesses struggle amid continued rent hikes, taxes and uncertainty,” Feb. 26. I read your article with great interest as I am involved in a West Point Grey business and live in the neighbourhood.
"While the story contains factual information about rent hikes and empty stores, it failed to recogn
"While the story contains factual information about rent hikes and empty stores, it failed to recognize those businesses, including ours, who are still thriving," writes Marilyn Giles. Photo Dan Toulgoet

Re: “West Point Grey businesses struggle amid continued rent hikes, taxes and uncertainty,” Feb. 26.

I read your article with great interest as I am involved in a West Point Grey business and live in the neighbourhood.

While the story contains factual information about rent hikes and empty stores, it failed to recognize those businesses, including ours, who are still thriving. We have been located in this business district for the past 53 years, building upon return customers and generations of those customers. Perhaps you could have done a broader walk on the street, visited the shops that are open — Quadro Framing, West 10th Eyes, Mix the Bakery, Moricotta, Home Hardware, Gild & Co., Bean Around the World, Urban Yarns or us, Van Yperen Jewellers, to name a few. What keeps us open? Maybe more reasonable landlords or services that bring the “destination” shopper looking for the personal attention that shopping online or in a big box store won’t provide.

Yes, Vancouver needs to sort out property taxation so that small business isn’t being taxed for the highest density on each property, but all of us need to consider where we shop and what those purchases online do to our community and what we want for where we live. We miss all the businesses that have left West 10th Avenue, and we are unhappy with the empty stores, but we are STILL STANDNG! We continue to participate in local events, charities and work hard to keep our businesses viable.

Perhaps creating projects that don’t allow empty stores to languish, displaying local art, pop-up shops, things that generate more interest on the block would help — certainly we are open to ideas.

Now is the time for people to support their local businesses so that we can survive and thrive, we ask that people living in our neighbourhood take a walk, stop in, see what can be purchased locally, get to know us, we are here.

Marilyn Giles,

Vancouver