NEW GLASGOW, N.S.
Angela MacDonald had recently opened her business in downtown New Glasgow in 2016 when the first Market to Mainstreet event was hosted by the New Glasgow Farmer’s Market and says it did nothing but good things for her store.
Afterward, customers of hers that went to the event sent her photos of themselves in front of her business.
“My way of looking at it is we have people downtown sitting in front of our stores,” MacDonald said. “This is called free advertising. It’s unfortunate not everyone gets that.”
MacDonald said she was disappointed to learn that council had voted against allowing the Farmer’s Market to hold the event again downtown. Council made their decision after sending out a letter notifying downtown business owners of the request. Seven of the 10 responses they received were opposed to the event.
Mayor Nancy Dicks said that council based their decision on the information they received back.
MacDonald said she is very much in support of the event. While she didn’t respond to the letter initially sent by the town, she said she has since communicated her support for it.
Lisa Potts, who owns Fashions by Lisa, is one of the business owners who wrote a letter expressing concern about holding the event and closing a portion of downtown to host it. She shared a copy of her letter with The News.
In it she wrote: “Personally, any time there are street closures, my customers call to find out if there are parking spaces available. Other businesses have a steep decline in sales.”
…"Events such as the one proposed, or others i. e. Johnny Miles street closures, have not proven to increase sales or awareness of the downtown merchants. They all have a negative impact.”
She suggested instead that it would be better to hold the event in the town owned parking lot which neighbours the Farmer’s Market.
“The merchants are not trying to be difficult, they would like to work together with success,” she said.
Lori Sutherland, owner of Naturally Bare wrote The News expression her viewpoint.
“Whenever there is any road closure or roadwork in the downtown it affects our businesses,” she stated. “Parking is another big issue. People will drive around the block numerous times just to find a convenient parking spot as many do not wish to use the free parking at Glasgow Square due to the walk.”
She said her business would have been only affected for a couple hours, but there are others it would have had a bigger impact on.
“I stand behind my fellow business owners as many of us are small businesses trying to survive.”
She said she wishes there had been some sort of compromise reached instead of cancelling the event however, such as holding the event later in the day or holding a meeting to discuss the issues.
“We CAN all work so that it works for everyone,” she stated.