Help One of LaSalle's Oldest Family Business Avoid Closure
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After numerous attempts to get a response from The City and various government officials, I am requesting support from the public after I was told by an intermediary for the city, that he "does not believe" that the city's street design is a problem and that "one could go on unemployment if they go bankrupt." As a self-employed taxpayer, I and many other merchants, would rather stay in business and not burden the provincial welfare system. Furthermore, self-employed entrepreneurs are not eligible for welfare.
After witnessing the stressful effects on my family and neighboring merchants, and the devastating effects on our businesses, I am requesting the following from the City:
- To remove a parking lot barricade installed by the City of LaSalle that is continuing to hinder customers from reaching at least six small shops in a strip mall since 2016. The removal of the barricade would once again enable vehicles travelling south-bound on Dollard Avenue to make a left turn into the parking lot in which these businesses are housed. This does not require any major construction and no substantial expense to the city. This would also alleviate parking lot traffic that is now a safety issue for both pedestrians and vehicles.
- To fairly compensate those businesses in a timely fashion, those who can prove its financial distress and business reputation damage was/is caused by the City's actions. There is a financial pile-up of operating costs and many other debts to several businesses. These businesses will now need to advertise to call back their customers.
The City of LaSalle's barricade to a parking lot located on Dollard Avenue in LaSalle, Montreal, is continuing to wreak havoc on a number of small businesses all housed in the same building. Following the 2016 street repairs, a number of customers were unable to easily reach these businesses, including my business, Ramdas Foods (located at 1503 Dollard Avenue in LaSalle, Montreal, the oldest Caribbean grocery in the city of Montreal and the province of Quebec) as well as other Mom and Pop businesses in the same building. After the 4-month street repairs ended in December 2016 and the street was re-opened, some businesses suffered more since the City redesigned the street and parking lots that hindered customers' ease of access to support these local businesses. Whether a business has a 45-year track record for serving numerous ethnic communities (like Ramdas) or a business that is just starting out, clientele deserves to have ease of access to support the local economy. And all entrepreneurs deserve a fair shot.
Following numerous appeals for help to government officials (the MP, the MNA and the Mayor of LaSalle), Ramdas Foods' pleas went unheard. Ramdas has now taken to an in-store and online petition following hundreds of complaints of dissatisfaction and frustration from its loyal customers that the street is too inconvenient. The barricade is destroying businesses. And one business has already closed down.
Ramdas Foods continues to serve various ethnic communities throughout Montreal and the province during its 45-year old family business history. The well-loved community shop enables the family to contribute to hospitals, various causes, community associations and churches in the Montreal community. One of its former successful branches (Raymond's International) operated in the public Atwater Market for 25-years (1973-1998), introducing Montrealers to exotic fruits and vegetables, spices, hot sauces, Jamaican Patties and much more from the Caribbean, India, Africa and beyond. The family continues in their tradition to serve Montrealers at their LaSalle branch.
Please help me support small community businesses.
Emily Ramdass, Interim CEO
Aliments Ramdas / Ramdas Foods
1503 Avenue Dollard, LaSalle, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
UPDATE: As of April 4, 2018: the MP's office and MNA have gotten back to me with some funding information resources that I requested.
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