Incentives needed for landlords

Commercial building owners/landlords need to be held accountable for their empty buildings in our downtown core.

Dear Editor:

Commercial building owners/landlords need to be held accountable for their empty buildings in our downtown core.

Some of these owners/landlords are absentee-owners and are not even concerned as to how their empty buildings are affecting our community.

The City of Summerland needs to establish a relationship with these commercial building owners/landlords in our downtown business core.

The words we hear most often as to why a business cannot succeed downtown is because the rent is too high.

That same business ends up closing their doors, moving somewhere else or becoming a home-based business etc.

What if the City of Summerland could offer a business incentive program to these landlords.

For every year that a business renting your building stays in operation you could receive a reduced tax benefit the following year.

To counter-balance this incentive program the City of Summerland would also adopt a bylaw to penalize these landlords for their empty buildings.

A penalization fee after so many months that their commercial building is left unoccupied.

In effect these landlords would be forced to either lower their rent and make it worthwhile for a business to succeed (while gaining a tax benefit via the city) or else pay a penalty for leaving their building unoccupied (by the city adopting a bylaw.)

Is Summerland able to apply for a grant from the government?

Can we be the first to create something like this?

Suggestions please.

Pam Johnson

Michelle Stephen