Merchants in Montréal-Nord look to join forces to attract shoppers, boost local economy
Business owners on two commercial strips in the borough of Montréal-Nord already have a merchants’ association, but now they want to take it a step further in an effort to strengthen the local economy and attract shoppers to the area.
“We’re looking for new ways to promote businesses and make sure customers keep coming back,” said Olivier Trudeau, project manager for the merchants’ association that covers Charleroi Street and Pie-IX Boulevard.
Montreal has a long-standing program that allows merchants on commercial strips to form a non-profit organization called a Société de développement commercial (SDC).
The city then collects dues from merchants, inflates the amount with public funds and then hands it to the SDC so it can invest in economic development — attracting customers to the area through ad campaigns, promotional activities and events like festivals or sidewalk sales.
Montreal has 24 SDCs spread across its territory, involving more than 12,000 businesses.
However, forming an SDC isn’t just a matter of filling out a form and sending it off for approval.
There is a process, according to Tasha Morizio, executive director of the SDC on St-Laurent Boulevard and president of Montreal’s association of SDCs.
“There has to be a bunch of merchants who are mobilized and who want an SDC in their territory, which Montréal-Nord has,” she said, but the process of getting an SDC approved is comparable to a referendum as merchants can vote against forming one.
Paying dues to get a return
It is the borough council that determines the boundaries of a commercial zone. How much the merchants pay in dues is determined by the SDC and approved by the borough council. Then the city handles the billing.
With the dues obligatory rather than voluntary, SDCs are able to plan for long-term projects and activities to attract customers, explained Morizio.
And the extra funding from the city is just the tip of the iceberg as forming an SDC makes grants and other government funding opportunities more accessible, she said. For every dollar that merchants pay in dues, they normally get that back three fold, she said.
SDCs allow for large-scale promotional campaigns that go well beyond what most merchants are able to do on their own, Morizio said. While many business owners don’t have the money or time to invest in advertising, SDCs can pump thousands into promoting the entire commercial strip, she said.
But not everybody wants to pay the dues, and sometimes attempts to form an SDC fail. That’s why it is crucial that merchants’ associations educate business owners in their area, she said.
Hesitant to spend the money
One hesitant restaurant owner is Aldo Louis who has had a business on Pix-IX for more than 12 years.
He remembers a time when the place was hopping, but then construction on Pie-IX began in November 2018 to make way for a rapid-bus service. Business hasn’t been the same since. Now he’s wondering if paying dues for an SDC is worth the price, he said.
“We have a lot to pay already,” said Louis, owner of Resto Dèdèt. “We’re not talking little cents and dollars. It’s a lot of money.”
Trudeau remains confident that merchants will support the effort, as the Association des commerçants de Charleroi et Pie-IX has been working with 170 merchants for a number of years.
“They have seen some results of what we could do with a SDC,” he said, but he admits there are still merchants who need convincing.
“It is true that some have expressed concern about the contribution amount, but we have not faced strong opposition so far,” Trudeau said. “We are still in consultation mode and ready to listen to the merchants’ concerns.”
Trudeau said the association will submit its demand to become an SDC to the borough next month and, once approved, the first step will be to launch more promotions, not just locally but also further away as the area does attract shoppers from places like Laval.
“We want to make sure that people know that we exist and that we have different services and goods to offer,” he said.
Montréal-Nord Coun. Abdelhaq Sari, representing the Marie-Clarac district, said elected officials are in favour of forming an SDC.
“We look forward to continuing to work with those who keep our local commercial streets alive, whatever their decision on this matter,” he said in a statement.
From bubble to boom? New report shows economic momentum in Atlantic Canada
Atlantic Canada’s economy has “wind in its sails” and is poised for an economic breakout, according to a new report from the Ottawa-based think-tank Public Policy Forum.
The report, entitled the Atlantic Canada Momentum Index, says that Canada’s East Coast provinces are experiencing “historic” momentum, in large part because of population growth.
“It’s ‘have not’ no more,” said president and CEO Edward Greenspon. “Atlantic Canada did lag on a number of indicators in a lot of ways for years. But that’s not true anymore.”
The think-tank measured 20 metrics, including measuring economic and population growth, level of education, immigration numbers, median age and employment rate. It based provinces’ performance on how many of these indicators improved between 2015 and 2022.
It found Atlantic Canada is performing comparably to the national average, and that it is showing a significant improvement compared to its performance from 2008 to 2015.
“I am proud,” said Wade MacLauchlan, former P.E.I. premier and one of 17 former Atlantic Canadian premiers and deputy premiers who signed on to the report.
“This is something that I and hundreds of thousands of others have worked hard for over generations. And there is a real sense of accomplishment and something on which we can build and grow.”
But some Atlantic Canadians say this report doesn’t tell the whole story: they say they’re squeezed by skyrocketing housing costs, as population growth and increased wealth creates a strain on the existing housing stock.
Population propelling economic growth
Atlantic Canada’s population declined five decades in a row in proportion to the rest of Canada.
That tendency is shifting.
“For the first time, you’re beginning to see population growth,” said Greenspon.
Recent census numbers show the country’s fastest-growing cities — Halifax and Moncton — are in the Maritimes.
Much of that population growth is spurred by people like Pauline Landriault, an Ontario resident who is able to work remotely. She has a property in Nova Scotia and is hoping to move there permanently.
“There’s a lot of people who bought places here during the pandemic,” she said. “With the nature and the trails, it’s the most beautiful province in the country. It’s a hidden gem.”
The Atlantic bubble, which allowed unrestricted travel within the East Coast provinces for a period during the COVID-19 pandemic, may have also made the province attractive to people looking to relocate during the pandemic, according to former Nova Scotia premier Stephen McNeil.
McNeil said his province was beginning to see more jobs creation around 2015, and shifted focus toward attracting more people back to Atlantic Canada to fill those jobs.
He said his government fought the long-held belief that Maritimers must give up career advancement aspirations if they choose to stay out East.
“We can do all the economic stuff right, but if we don’t have people, then we’re doomed,” he said. “We’re as close to New York as Toronto is, but we’re more affordable.”
He said economic challenges in Alberta, low interest rates fostering growth, and Ontario’s high housing prices contributed to people’s decisions to move to Nova Scotia.
Immigration is also booming in Atlantic Canada: the average number of immigrants in Atlantic Canada from 2008 to 2015 was about 7,000 per year. From 2015 to 2022, that average more than doubled, to about 15,000 immigrants per year.
The median age of Atlantic Canadians, while older than the national average, has slowed in its growth.
“There’s a growth in confidence, in population and economic activity. In many ways, this is for Atlantic Canadians, the opportunity to say after 130 years of outmigration, let’s try something else,” MacLauchlan said.
With more prosperity, new challenges
Though the Public Policy Forum report does track the number of new housing builds in a region, it does not track the current costs of housing in Atlantic Canada, which have soared in recent years.
Halifax resident Melissa Gazzard relies on social assistance to pay her bills, and she said increased cost of housing has made it extremely difficult to find a long-term home.
“They’re leaving us that are out here to basically fend for ourselves,” she said. “It’s really hard. They put us in one circle, and say, ‘OK, we’ll deal with you later.’ But it never gets dealt with.”
One of the other metrics measured was access to a family physician, an area where Atlantic Canada continues to struggle.
Nearly 370,000 Atlantic Canadians don’t have a family doctor and the report shows that provinces have not made improvement in decreasing this number.
“There’s new challenges and problems. There’s problems around health care and access to physicians,” said Greenspon.
“There’s always going to be some people left behind, and policy needs to address that and make sure they don’t fall through cracks,” he said.
How to keep building?
For momentum to keep growing in Atlantic Canada, it needs to be fostered, the report concludes.
“It would be negligent to let this swelling momentum pass without putting the necessary policy supports in place to perpetuate it,” it reads.
The think-tank says it will meet with policymakers to discuss policies to build on the momentum.
“The message that I think is most important is to really recognize we can raise our expectations and that we should keep going. Because this is working and it is good for us,” said MacLauchlan.
McNeil, who left office in 2021, said he expects the trend will continue upward.
“Atlantic Canada is alive and well, and quite frankly, a global player,” he said.
Bank of Canada concerned about bringing inflation down
The Bank of Canada says it’s still concerned inflation might be harder to bring down than expected, noting the economy is still in excess demand.
On Wednesday, the central bank published a summary on the governing council’s deliberations ahead of its decision to hold its key interest rate steady on March 8.
The members of the governing council, which include governor TIff Macklem and his deputies, were encouraged to see the economy and inflation both slowing, supporting their decision to hold the key interest rate steady at 4.5 per cent.
However, the governing council remained concerned about the risk of inflation getting stuck above two per cent and agreed that supply was still outstripping demand in the economy.
In the fourth quarter, the Canadian economy posted no growth as the accumulation of business inventories slowed.
“With inventories adjusting earlier than anticipated, governing council concluded that growth in early 2023 may be a bit stronger than the bank had forecast,” the summary said.
Ahead of the federal and provincial governments rolling out their budgets, the governing council also discussed the risk of elevated government spending further fueling demand in the economy.
Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has pledged that her March 28 budget will be fiscally restrained, noting that the federal government doesn’t want to make the Bank of Canada’s job of fighting inflation harder.
The central bank said it will incorporate the fiscal plans of both levels of government into its updated projections to be released in the next monetary policy report.
The Bank of Canada will release the report along with its next interest rate decision on April 12.
Economists widely expect the central bank to continue holding its key interest rate steady.
The latest consumer price index report showed inflation slowed further in February, with the annual rate falling to 5.2 per cent.
However, an ongoing concern for the Bank of Canada is the tight labour market and strong wage growth.
The unemployment rate continues to hover near record lows, while average hourly wages have been increasing at an annual rate of four to five per cent.
The Bank of Canada notes in its summary of deliberations that the governing council continues to believe that the pace of wage growth will make it harder to get inflation back to its two per cent target, given wage growth isn’t accompanied with productivity growth.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 22 2023.
NOVA Chemicals sets bold ESG aspirations to lead the plastics circular economy
- Set new industry standards for driving the transition to the plastics circular economy and solidifying the market for recycled polyethylene, with 30 per cent of its polyethylene sales[i] from recycled contet;
- Be at the forefront of decarbonization by reducing its Scope 1 and 2 absoute CO2 emissions by 30 per cent[ii]; and
- Become a Top 30 company in Canada.
Outlined in NOVA 2030: Our Roadmap to Sustainability Leadership, NOVA Chemicals has also shared its aspiration to reach net-zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2050.
To achieve these aspirations, NOVA Chemicals anticipates investing between USD$2-4 billion by 2030 to expand its sustainable product offerings, decarbonize assets, and build a state-of-the-art mechanical recycling business while exploring new advanced recycling technologies to create high-quality, high-performance recyclable and low carbon plastics.
Building on its proprietary, Advanced SCLAIRTECHTM technology (AST), NOVA Chemicals will explore expanding its product portfolio to include the development of innovative, advanced materials. These new product offerings, which will include the company’s first ASTUTE™ polyolefin plastomers line, will better serve existing customers and provide more options for sustainability-focused end markets such as electric vehicles and renewables.
NOVA Chemicals has already begun growing its portfolio of recycled and recyclable polyethylene resins through its recently announced launch of SYNDIGO™ recycled polyethylene, a new portfolio of products made from circular polymers to encourage both waste and emissions reductions.
The company has also announced a virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) with Shell Energy for renewable power, marking the first of many opportunities to increase low carbon, renewable energy in its power portfolio.
Today’s announcement builds upon NOVA Chemicals’ long-standing commitment to developing innovative solutions for its customers while enabling the circular economy and preparing for and responding to a changing world. NOVA’s approach to managing its material ESG topics including Responsible Care® and its commitment to the environment, health, and safety, can be found in its annual ESG report.
– 30 –
About NOVA Chemicals Corporation
NOVA Chemicals aspires to be the leading sustainable polyethylene producer in North America. Our driving purpose is to reshape plastics for a better, more sustainable world by delivering innovative solutions that help make everyday life healthier and safer and acting as a catalyst for a low carbon, zero-plastic-waste future. NOVA Chemicals’ innovative and quality product offerings, value chain collaboration, and unique customer experience is what sets us apart; our customers use our products to create easy-to-recycle and recycled content films, packaging, and products. Our employees work to ensure health, safety, security, and environmental stewardship through our commitment to sustainability and Responsible Care®.
NOVA Chemicals, headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, has nearly 2,500 employees worldwide and is wholly owned by Mubadala Investment Company of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Learn more at www.novachem.com or follow us on LinkedIn.
NOVA Chemicals’ logo is a registered trademark of NOVA Brands Ltd.; authorized use.
Advanced SCLAIRTECH™, SYNDIGO™, LEEP™, and ASTUTE™ are trademarks of NOVA Chemicals.
Responsible Care® is a registered trademark of the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada.
This news release contains forward-looking statements. By their nature, forward-looking statements require NOVA Chemicals to make assumptions and are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. NOVA Chemicals’ forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. In addition, the forward-looking statements are made only as of the date of this news release, and except as required by applicable law, NOVA Chemicals undertakes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements to reflect new information, subsequent events or otherwise.
How To Play Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test | GameSpot News – GameSpot
US Fed announces latest interest hike in wake of banking turmoil – Al Jazeera English
Canada extends emergency travel program for Ukrainians fleeing war
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Search for life on Mars accelerates as new bodies of water found below planet’s surface
Art24 hours ago
Daniel Sundahl creates memorial portraits for fallen EPS officers
Media13 hours ago
Why one county is suing social media companies
Business14 hours ago
Shake Shack plans to expand to Canada next year
Health13 hours ago
‘Worsening spread’ of deadly fungal infection raising alarm in U.S.
Economy11 hours ago
NOVA Chemicals sets bold ESG aspirations to lead the plastics circular economy
News21 hours ago
The Losani Family Foundation celebrates 10 years of giving back
Economy18 hours ago
US interest-rate decision the world is watching
Investment14 hours ago
Wall Street is thirsty for its next big investment opportunity: The West’s vanishing water