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BIA chair says lack of downtown businesses ‘absolutely’ an issue

September 10, 2020   ·   0 Comments

Written By PAULA BROWN

Travelling up and down Main Street in Shelburne lately and it is hard not to notice numerous units with empty store fronts, old business signs, ply wood protecting windows, and “for rent” advertisements. 

“It’s fair to say that we have fewer businesses on Main Street than we had last year at this time,” said Ed Crewson, Chair of the Shelburne BIA. 

On the main strip of the downtown of Shelburne, seven units now remain empty without businesses occupying them. 

So, are there concerns about the number of business no longer in the downtown? 

For Crewson, who has been a business owner on the strip of road since 1985 and is also chair of the BIA, he says there’s never not been concerns about businesses on Main Street, but that this time it is “absolutely” more serious.  

“There was never a time that we weren’t concerned about the state of Main Street,” said Crewson. “Main Street has always been a concern, it is hard to compete with the big box stores that tend to locate outside of town or on the edge of town, in Orangeville or wherever.” 

Second Fiddle is one of the shops on Main Street that now remains empty, closing their doors back in May. Owned and operated by Diana Buckley, Second Fiddle, was an eclectic shop that sold items such as pottery, jewelry, crystals, and books. 

In March, prior to the shop’s closing, Buckley spoke with the Shelburne Free Press saying that an increase in rent for the storefront was why they chose to close and return to online sales. 

“This time when the lease was due, the present landlord said he wanted the rent to reflect the standard of other Shelburne stores, even though quite a number remain empty,” said Buckley. “It meant an increase of half what we had been paying.” 

With the numerous units still remaining empty Crewson says he doesn’t have the answers for the future of businesses of Main Street. 

“It’s very tough, I don’t know,” said Crewson. “I don’t have any solutions.” 



         

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