Study says Fort market growingNEWS/Entries/2019/8/23_Study_says_Fort_market_is_growing.html
Tractor Pull weekend has arrivedNEWS/Entries/2019/8/23_Tractor_pull_weekend_has_arrived.html
Empty Bowls fundraiser returnsNEWS/Entries/2019/8/23_Empty_Bowls_fundraiser_returns.html
Harvest Festival helps space projectNEWS/Entries/2019/8/23_Harvest_festival_for_space_project.html

Volume 24, Number 33, Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Fund started

for condo evacuees

The latest report on Fort Saskatchewan's retail market makes interesting reading, but I don't put much faith in it.

Oh, I do believe we are going to see more major retail growth in coming years. Commercial development is booming here right now, with dozens of new spaces under construction — many even with tenants. Popeye's and Burger King are opening soon, and it looks like Winners as well.

But this is all a symptom of Capitalism gone wild, rather than a solid business model. Like the hotel boom of the past decade, retailers and fast food chains are expanding at breakneck speed. This expansion has to do with corporate stockholder "expand at any cost" economics and not basic business sense.

The fact is Fort Saskatchewan's market is not growing at anything like the speed promised in the report released this week. That report claims that our trading area contains 63,000 people rather than the mere 38,700 claimed in the 2016 study. It does this by expanding our official trading area to include Two Hills, Ashmont, Newbrook and all of Strathcona County north of Highway 16.

Both studies defined primary and secondary trading areas, but the primary area alone of the new study is larger than combined primary and secondary areas of the 2016 study.

Our market is Fort Saskatchewan itself, plus Bruderheim and Lamont, and even these areas do a lot of shopping in Edmonton and Sherwood Park. Our other neighbours in Gibbons and Redwater likely do only a little shopping here.

Painting an overly optimistic picture of our retail market will benefits developers anxious to sell space, but hurts the businesses that buy based on this optimism. Because in the end their success will be based on actual sales by actual customers.

Businesses that fail leave unpaid staff, suppliers, tradespeople and creditors behind. In other words, everyone.

There are already more than enough mistakes being made in business today. There is no need to add to the confusion.

Nor do I believe Fort Saskatchewan will benefit in any way by attracting more chain restaurants. Quality comes from independent, local business, not corporations.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Fort starts Good Neighbour awardNEWS/Entries/2019/8/23_Fort_starts_good_neighbour_award.html

Report inflates Fort retail market

A fund has been set up for residents evacuated from the Riverview Estates condo earlier this month.

The local ATB Financial branch has established an account for those wishing to help with cash for the evacuees.

The Fort Saskatchewan Furniture Bank is also providing household goods for some of the evacuees. The local charity moved four households into new homes this past week and plans to do more.

The Mix 107.9 charity barbecue raised $930 for the furniture bank on Aug. 14.

"I can’t thank our volunteers enough for helping out today, and the community support for the organization warms my heart,” says Kathy Stevenson, President of the Fort Saskatchewan Furniture Bank.

The Furniture Bank still needs beds, twin sheets and blankets, double sheets, new pillows and toasters.

Condo owners and residents have been told the problems with their building were caused by faulty construction, but are still waiting to find out how much it will cost to repair.

The condo board has also warned owners that insurance is unlikely to cover the costs of repairs, which means that the owners will have to pay.

Some of the 44 units at 9930 - 100 Ave. were owner-occupied while others were rented. The building remains closed, and residents must live elsewhere until repairs are done. Their furniture, clothes and other household goods are also still locked in the building.

Resident owners must deal with these additional living costs and will also have to pay their share of the repair costs.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019