Letter: Sapperton has become doom for small businesses

Editor:

Sapperton is doom for small businesses.

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We all know that this was not exactly a family-friendly area not so long ago, especially after dark.

Since some years ago, we started to have lovely restaurants and all sorts of stores, which made the Sapperton business area a lively and charming place. I have lived at Kelly Street for twodecades, and to have a grocery, paintball, a consignment and a furniture store, Camp Kerry, restaurants, so on, made the lives for the residents of Sapperton easier and much enjoyable.

Most of these lovely stores are gone with the wind in the last couple of years. Sadly, the owner of a big chunk of the property available for rent, is a man who only cares to collect his money on time.

It is heartbreaking to see business after business close, as the business owners can't make enough profits to pay for hefty rents. We are a working-class neighbourhood, but landlords charge wealthy neighbourhood rental prices. Many of the people who rent these properties are new immigrants. These people put all their savings to build a business, but instead of giving them a chance to get their business afloat, they just increases the rent.

A couple of days ago, Badlands Paintball said bye to the neighbourhood. The grocery store, thank heaven, is still there, but last year the owners were struggling.

The sad fact is that landlords don't care at all about this neighbourhood.

Most shops survive only a year. So many businesses had to leave for this reason. It is a real shame for our community.

We want to see businesses thrive, survive and stay for good; not to see more defeated shop owners leave in big debt. It is not fair for them or for us.

Peter Carr, New Westminster

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