ELEVATING LOCAL BUSINESSES
Small businesses are critical to local economic development, yet there are several barriers holding them back on the path to prosperity. As we adjust to changes forced upon us by the pandemic, it is critical that we work to bridge the gap in services and support systems available.
Neighborhood small businesses are critical to cities and communities, providing a broad array of economic and social benefits. However, there are barriers that continue to hold entrepreneurs back and rob communities of the vibrancy and prosperity that small businesses bring.
Residents in our neighbourhoods, specifically in the South West part of the city, have brought up the idea of having a local, multi-use gathering space that’s bursting with energy and local businesses such as pubs, lounges, bakery, butchers, and restaurants - one that is not just another strip mall with mainly fast food.
This is about neighbourhood revitalization, economic prosperity, and building a sense of belonging. I look forward to seeing these spaces throughout our city, so that all Edmontonians can experience the strength of their local economies while having an increased sense of connection to one another.
More than ever, we should be exploring opportunities for a neighbourhood-focused, multi-use buildings or areas containing local Edmonton businesses. This could be in a shared, collaborative, and accessible space that brings our communities together and empowers local businesses.
A successful example of this kind of project already exists in our city in the Ritchie neighbourhood called Ritchie Market. With my strong business connections, I will work to create the opportunity to bring residents, local entrepreneurs, and various stakeholders together in the to investigate the feasibility of a similar type of project that works for the South West part of the city.
I believe multi-use community hubs can help enhance livability in our communities, encourage business vibrancy, increase local jobs and create a greater sense of belonging and joy.
A Bridge Between Community and Businesses
Local businesses inject jobs and revenue back into our communities while helping to spark innovation, and provide opportunities for our most marginalized community members. This isn't just about profit - this is about uplifting one another, sharing our networks, and working together to make sure our communities thrive.
Projects like these require strong collaboration and cooperation, and the best outcomes come from ideas and perspectives from various areas.
If you are a local entrepreneur, community leader, or city planner, and are interested in having a conversation around a community-centered multi-use space, I would love to hear from you! Get involved here.