Ask-A-Candidate Question 10

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QUESTION ADDRESSED TO MORINVILLE COUNCIL AND MAYORAL CANDIDATES

Local business has been a hot topic of discussion recently. Namely, the lack thereof and/or the poor support a lot of them get. How do you feel we should address this issue and should it not start with the Town itself? Should the Town not be buying anything and everything they can IN town to show support and lead by example?

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5 Comments

  1. PLEASE NOTE – Only Candidates may post comments to this posting. Morinvillenews.com welcomes reader comments on our articles, but we wish to keep these particular segments open for candidates alone so that readers do not have to separate who is and is not vying for their vote.

  2. Good question but it boils down to advertising and promoting buy local. The town can encourange buy local but we certainly cannot force. One of the complaints I often hear is that item A is $20.00 in Morinville but it is $10.00 in St. Albert. Not much the town can do about that. You are right it certainly could start by setting example and I have asked the question. I have been assured that the town buys every item it can locally. Next step is to insure that policy does indeed state that very fact. If you know otherwise please let me know so that it can be dealt with if I am re-elected.

  3. Thank you for your comments and concerns:

    I find it a bit disturbing that you believe the local businesses in Town are getting little support for their business. I would have loved to hear MORE on what front you base your opinion on. We have a strong Chamber of Commerce in Town that works with businesses on a daily basis.

    As for buying land, are you suggesting that we (the Town) be in the development business? We have people in the better know how out there then the Town to be in this type of business. Even if we were going to go this route, empty lots owner, are asking premium dollars for their lands. What we should be doing is making it a little more easier for developer to build (one stop shopping at the Town office).

    However; I do agree our business/industry and residential ratio is not very good; (as everyone is aware) the numbers are high, like 90/10 (rounding the number), which is 90% residential and 10% Commercial/Industrial, if it was the other way around it still would NOT be good for Morinville. We need to achieve the 70/30 mark. I believe that we (the Town with it residents and the Morinville and District Chamber of Commerce as a collate group need to improve these figures).

    Morinville needs to rethink on how we would like to see 100 Avenue and other streets in Morinville in the near future to look like. I know that 100 Avenue road belong to the Province, however the buildings, businesses, lands and so on do NOT, do we let them die, where has the Downtown Beautification gone? Do you want our Town to become a Ghost Town; Ladies and Gentlemen I think NOT and hope you are thinking the same way! When visitors come and visit, what do you think their first impression is?

    We need to start to educate our citizens to SHOP LOCALLY – that also includes the Town administration and Council members. I stated earlier the number 90/10, well forget those numbers; Morinville has a population of over 7600 and there should be no reason why they can’t shop and save here. Our prices are comparable and in some cases if you add the cost of gas to go to St. Albert or Edmonton they are paying more.

    We need to advise (some may say force) the empty commercial lot owners in our town to built or sell to someone who will build. An empty lot does no justice to our 100 Avenue and 100 Street commercial layouts.

    Morinville needs more commercial and industrial businesses, that’s why I believe we need to start an Economic Development and Tourism committee and that does NOT mean hire a Economic Development Officer, but have Morinville residents and Business Owners on the committee to pursue new businesses and tourism for Morinville without hindering the present businesses we presently have.

    We need to do the ground work first, such as; what do we have, what do we want, do we have the infrastructure requirements (road, water, sewer etc) to support the new businesses and so on. Then when we are ready that is when we should look for an Economic Development Officer, if the expertise does not exist in the committee already.

    We need to be all Good Ambassadors and advice, tell, and even shout to the World that Morinville is Open for Business and that all are welcome. Being a believer in Morinville, I will make Morinville known to the world that the Town of Morinville is Open for Business and a place to raise your family. There are businesses out there that want to come to Morinville however; have no one to speak to or anywhere to go to get information. We need to move on this now.

    The Town, Residents, and even the Chamber of Commerce all have key role to play in making this a success; the Economic Development Committee bring them in, the Chamber keep them here. At the same time we all (citizens of Morinville) should be bragging on how great our town is for business and it is even a great place to raise a family in a safe manner.

    Small Town – Big Potential.

    Once again thank you, Joseph Trapani

  4. As a small business owner in Morinville myself, I can certainly understand that in today’s economic climate it is hard enough finding customers – without having to compete with large super-centres 10 minutes down the road. Right now Morinville is in a tough situation – according to Statistics Canada’s 2007 census data, 55% of residents living in Morinville who are currently employed worked in a different municipality. We’ve become a bedroom community to Edmonton and St. Albert and with that we are losing out on business dollars to those communities. If it is easy to stop at Walmart on your way home from work each day to purchase groceries, some people will. I don’t believe that the majority of people choose to shop outside of our town. But the days of going to a store and having a personal relationship with those working there and shopping there seem to be gone. The town of Morinville needs to do what it can to promote local businesses – by enacting recommendations from its own downtown plan to revitalize our business core. There needs to be incentives put into place for more development along 100 Avenue and to reduce the number of empty storefronts. Getting people active and engaged in the community is a great way to entice people to shop locally. You can feel good about spending your money in a business that you know employs your neighbor, friends, parents of your child’s friends, hockey coach, etc. It is also important for Morinville’s Businesses to support the community and give back as that will bring in more value to the local customer than saving an extra few dollars at a box store. Town Council members, town employees and staff should be examples to other residents by both supporting local businesses and being engaged in the community.

  5. The Town of Morinville should adopt a buy local policy based on competitive pricing and service. The Town should encourage other public sector institutions to do the same.

    Buying local is a consideration for residents and other businesses as well. Please remember it is our neighbors operating those local businesses.

    I was pleased when the President of the Chamber of Commerce asked at the election forum the Council candidates if they had purchased their campaign materials locally. I’m proud to say I purchased through Hunters Printing, Abcor Signs and the Morinville Free Press. I can’t imagine why I’d need to go outside the community for these materials.

    Similarly the Town should adopt a policy and be seen as supporting local business by purchasing locally based on competitive pricing.

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