Making Change Work for Our Augusta Business Community

Making Change Work for Our Augusta Business Community

Augusta Matters by Mayor Doug Malanka

(As published in the South Grenville Journal – Thursday, October 22, 2020)

In a typical year, according to statistics from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, 85,000 business close and 95,000 businesses open nationally. On top of this, about one-third of Canadian businesses close within the first five years, and more than half of businesses close within their first decade of operation.

Of course, with 2020’s impacts due to COVID-19 continuing, it is looking like the statistics for the current year could end up being quite different. Recent survey data from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) suggests that 1 in 7 small businesses in Canada are at risk of closing, in addition to the businesses that have already shut down because of COVID-19.

At our last Economic Development and Tourism Committee meeting, it was suggested that January and February of 2021 are likely to be difficult months for many business owners across Ontario and Canada, particularly those who have their businesses tied to other assets, such as their personal residence.

Any Augusta business owner that is struggling right now need not wait until it is too late. Our local entrepreneurs may be relieved to know that real estate in the Township has been moving quickly, and our staff receive regular inquiries about both commercial and residential properties. Freeing up your locked-in capital today could make it easier for you to start a new business tomorrow and capitalize on an emerging area of demand and growth.

If you are a local entrepreneur for whom times have almost become too tough to continue, do not wait until the creditors start calling. Make an appointment to speak with our Township’s Planning and Economic Development Specialist to discuss available options under your property’s current zoning, and key considerations that should be part of any business transition and succession plan, or a business and property sales strategy.

In recent months, several of our Augusta business owners have been connected with grants and loans; and we continue to brainstorm ideas for partnerships, upgrading commercial sites, and enhancing development on properties across our Township, including through our Community Improvement Plan.

Stay tuned because on World Energy Day, October 22nd, we are going to be making some exciting announcements as we celebrate some recent steps that Augusta Township has taken to support economic development and sustainability in our agricultural sector. And by the first quarter of 2021, we plan to bring forward a new Augusta Economic Development Strategy that leverages our Township’s assets as a modern rural municipality in this rapidly changing, transitional economy.