Around the world, major cities like Montréal are confronted with similar challenges in terms of the vitality of commercial streets. Against the backdrop of a rapid virtualization of the economy and changing consumer habits – in particular attributable to the growing popularity of ecommerce – local economic structures are undergoing profound transformations.
The vitality and power of attraction of a city centre largely depend on the vibrancy and originality of its commercial fabric. On a smaller scale, sometimes all it takes is a single business to draw attention to a subsector and generate benefits for neighbouring businesses. Similarly, the consequences of a business closing are visible. If they remain closed and the number of shuttered storefronts grows, vacant stores become a symptom of devitalization.
The Chamber is taking advantage of consultations initiated by the Ville de Montréal on the issue of vacant storefronts to encourage public authorities to tackle the systemic causes of the deterioration of the business environment on commercial streets. The Chamber is proposing concrete measures to stimulate traffic, reduce the frequency and length of vacation, reduce tax expenses, facilitate entrepreneurship and enhance the appeal of commercial streets in the heart of the island.
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