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Mayoral candidate Shauna Sylvester proposes new measures aimed at supporting city's small businesses
Sylvester promising action to appoint a Small Business Ombudsperson, improve affordability for workers, and streamline permitting processes to create healthy business environments.
VANCOUVER, BC, August 23 - Mayoral candidate Shauna Sylvester announced today the second of a series of platform issues her campaign is rolling out over the coming weeks. Today’s announcement introduced a number of measures aimed at supporting and strengthening small businesses in the city. She stated that she would implement a number of solutions including working collaboratively to strengthen and expand Business Improvement Associations (BIAs), rescinding city policies that are outdated, redundant or unfriendly to innovation, simplifying permitting and fee transparency to improve efficiency and grappling with the escalating property tax burden that hobble many small businesses.
“One of the unique features of Vancouver is our vibrant neighbourhood streets like Commercial Drive, West Point Grey Village, Main Street or Denman Street,” said Sylvester. “They are the lifeblood of our communities.” Sylvester wants to protect local neighbourhood businesses and create an enabling environment in City Hall that recognizes the leading role of small businesses and niche industries to job growth and economic development. “From craft breweries to small health food manufacturing, our small businesses are extremely important to keeping this city liveable and innovative - they provide easy access to goods and services, employment and investment back into our communities and make our city interesting and fun.”
Sylvester has also called for the appointment of a Small Business Ombudsperson at the City, stating that City Hall needs a full time advocate who understands the challenges facing small business owners and is empowered to assist them in finding the solutions they need quickly. She also highlighted the urgency of addressing escalating rents, property taxes and staff recruitment. “Businesses across this city are struggling to find and retain employees because workers can’t afford the high cost of living in Vancouver,” said Sylvester. She is exploring how to follow Whistler’s lead in creating affordable purpose-built rentals for front-line retail and service workers.
Sylvester cited her experience founding five social enterprises, working in a family small business growing up, and serving on the boards of various organizations, including Vancity, Vancity Capital Corporation, MEC, and the Downtown Vancouver BIA, to support her passion for helping the city’s business community thrive, innovate, and expand. She has proposed further measures to include the city’s social enterprises as small businesses, reserve and increase industrial land by expanding vertically, and explore the creation of innovation corridors that support local entrepreneurship.
Shauna Sylvester is an independent candidate running for Mayor of Vancouver in the 2018 Municipal Elections.
Video: Small Business Issues