Local Businesses Hurting? – “I spoke to the owner of one of the remaining shops recently and asked his opinion about the situation. He told me the business right now is at it’s lowest EVER.”

Vancouver Sun, 20 July 2010“Some downtown Vancouver parking lots are offering specials on parking rates as they’ve seen traffic fall eight to 10 per cent since last year.”

Anonymous at vancouvercondo.info 20 Jul 2010 1:18 pm“At the end of this month, 2 (TWO!) of the local Suzuki motorcycle dealers are closing their doors. One of these places was in business for many, many years (Modern Motorcycling), the other was in business for just a couple, but is a part of an empire (Jim Pattison Suzuki). I spoke to the owner of one of the remaining shops recently and asked his opinion about the situation. He told me the business right now is at it’s lowest EVER. He’s been doing this for couple of decades now and the state of motorcycle industry in BC is in disastrous shape. People have no money to buy and the banks won’t help either.”

Bubble Lad at vancouvercondo.info 20 Jul 2010 1:37 pm“Restaurants are getting hammered too. Spoke with a local merchant with friends who have restaurants, and most of their business has been halved in the last six months to a year. Have also noticed a strange “value menu” trend popping up at a few of the places I frequent (if like “fuel” on 4th, they haven’t already drastically reduced the entire overall concept).”

3 responses to “Local Businesses Hurting? – “I spoke to the owner of one of the remaining shops recently and asked his opinion about the situation. He told me the business right now is at it’s lowest EVER.”

  1. Metro Vancouver has certainly felt quieter for some time now (aside from the extra activity created by the hosting of the 2010 Winter Olympics).

    Even at weekends, shopping areas seem quieter; the retail buzz of yesteryear has faded away. Last Christmas seemed less frantic, compared to a couple of years ago. Many stores have closed or are closing, some of which have been around for a number of years or decades – leaving plenty of empty retail space. Vancouver’s downtown shopping core seems pretty quiet. Granville Island still seem fairly busy, as do South Granville, Commercial and Main. Those areas have a wider variety of retail and restaurants than downtown (more independent and not part of a chain). Yaletown just feels jaded; nail bars and doggy accessory stores are disappearing fast and restaurants come and go more often. Areas outside of downtown seem a lot emptier too.

    Metro Vancouver is known for it’s restaurant scene. Eating out is a special treat for us these days (our friends, too). Occasionally we may go out for a glass of wine and/or dessert/coffee – but not a whole meal like we did a few years ago. Restaurants don’t seem to be as busy; there are so many of them to fill. Wine is horribly expensive, with crazy markup levels (BC’s Puritanical liquor laws don’t help). Servers lose interest quickly if you don’t order alcohol, as it means a much smaller bill and resulting tip.

    With such a large proportion of Vancouverites’ incomes being spent on accommodation and basics, and the poor job market here; money is in shorter supply than in recent years. Credit is and will be; harder to obtain for many. The economy in the US has affected our economy, too.

    Only the strong businesses will survive. That means good quality, reliable products and service at an affordable price – every cent counts. People are wising up to what they really need to survive and spending on treats is being reduced or removed from their budgets altogether.

    Did the Winter Olympics generate over-supply and ill-timed speculation among businesses here, I wonder? As the Games drew nearer, there were whispers of bookings for accommodation being lower than expected. Certainly some of the high prices being asked were eye-popping. During the Games, there were reports of some restaurants in higher-traffic areas imposing extra charges on customers during the Games. Some local residents are reluctant to return to those establishments again. Who can blame them?

    Metro Vancouver has changed a lot over the past couple of decades. With the coming and going of the 2010 Winter Olympics, we are entering yet another new phase. The big question remains, does Vancouver know what it wants to be when it grows up? Is it going to end up as one big exclusive resort for a wealthy and transient population, or will long-time residents and immigrants be able to live and work here but be paid more than $10 an hour? Many of us live here because of it’s beautiful geography, but at what price will we have to walk away? If RE speculation and tourism are not the basis of Vancouver’s economy in future, what will that mean?

    • MoxiesInGuildford

      I have to agree with your comment about restaurant surcharges during the 2010 games. Two weeks prior to the start of the games, I was at a business lunch in Guildford Moxies on 152nd in Surrey. The waitress told our table we had to pay 15% because of the Olympics. I couldn’t believe what she said. I am 30km from the nearest Olympic venue, and I am a local resident. Are you joking. I was in shock and promised never to go back to the restaurant in protest. Serves them right to lose business.

      • I think you’re a bit confused. It is pretty common for resturants to charge an extra 15% to large tables. This money is for tip, it doesnt go to the resturant. I think the reason they do that is because large groups tend to tip less and they are more work to serve.

        During the olympics most resturants added the 15% tip to every bill. I am assuming this is because many visitors arent used to tipping because where they come from resturant workers earn a decent wage and dont rely on tips to get by.

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