Comment 16878

By statius (registered) | Posted January 08, 2008 at 23:56:14


While I question the long term viability of a number of the new small businesses which have sprouted up downtown, I have to commend you when you write:

"I am doing this. My nieghbours on James North are doing this and so are a bunch of other small business folks in the downtown core.

Just look around - we are taking our own initiative and money to do what LIUNA will not. Invest in Hamilton and the downtown core."

A city's fortunes can be reversed either from above or below, but ultimately I think you need both elements to really succeed. So far, I think we've witnessed an impressive groundswell of grassroots support for urban revitalization in the core, both from consumer-residents and business people, even if major developers have thus far been shamefully timid about investing downtown. I think this widespread support is lacking in a city like Detroit, where small businesses do often appear in the still decrepit core of that city, but then often fail embarrassingly soon after because of a lack of popular support for the downtown. That city has had the benefit of recent major investment in the core, but that has failed to keep the small businesses going, as the integral grassroots desire to kickstart the once truly "world-class" downtown is too evanescent. Thankfully, Hamilton is a city which never deurbanized to the extent of Detroit (although arguably it has come close), and thankfully it still has a wealth of residents and business people who feel a natural attraction to the core and a revulsion at its currently sorry state. Kudos.

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