There's a lot of construction happening in Strathmore for new businesses, like the DynaLife building in EdgeField Place, or the new complex on the site of the old Leroy's Motel which is expected to hold a Wendy's and Domino's Pizza, among other businesses. However, amid the construction of new buildings, some residents have pointed out that we already have buildings with vacant lots that could've been possible business locations.

Town of Strathmore's Economic Sustainability and Investment Officer Angela Groeneveld explained the Town is aware of the current vacancies while new buildings are built, but it's not government's place to get involved in business matters.

"Government's role is not to get into business. The government's role for economic development is to support business. We don't own these buildings, we're not approving these buildings, that's the business community doing that themselves. We just make sure the policies and regulations are in there so that they can build."

Town of Strathmore's Planner III Megan Williams echoed the fact that government doesn't get involved in business, as she explained that anyone is welcome to open any business, so long as it complies with the Town's regulations and bylaws.

"We allow the market to govern itself. To give an example: we wouldn’t limit the number of shoe stores in Town. If 30 people came in wanting to open 30 different shoe stores, so long as the property’s underlying land use district allowed for a commercial use, and it aligns with other aspects of the land use bylaw, they’re welcome to," she said.

Since the current vacant lots aren't a Town priority and is something they won't get directly involved in, it may seem like there's no plan to address it. However, that isn't the case, as Groeneveld emphasized the importance of government's role in playing a supportive role. So long as the Town continues to attract and promote business, she expects the vacant buildings will no longer be a concern as Strathmore continues to experience projected growth.

"Once they (businesses) sustain and once they get too big and they want to expand or they want to diversify, that's when all these other empty buildings come into play. We want to make sure that we have all the bylaws, all the policies, everything in place so that they're able to keep their business here and expand in Strathmore." 

On top of the Town attracting business, Groeneveld added all the expected housing and population growth should also create growth in business, which would then help fill the vacant buildings as more local people and community members would become entrepreneurs. She added the Town has a goal to hit 15 000 people, which would then create a significant amount of business growth.

"When we hit the 15 000 mark, that's when the franchises are going to start to look at you and that's when you start to see the Costcos and stuff like that come in."

While growth is great and attracting new business is a key focus, Groeneveld concludes by emphasizing that the Town's focus is also on the local businesses that already exist, and supporting the businesses we do have is a huge priority.

"The number one thing is you have to look after the people in your backyard before you want to bring new people into your backyard. We want to make sure that we have the right policies and regulations in place for them (local business and people) to start a business and grow a business."

Groeneveld added she's always open to community feedback, to speak with her about the Town's economic development and business plans, you can reach out at

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