Our View: Changes are inevitable

Controversy over new shopping mall has many more sides

With all of the controversy regarding the building of a shopping mall on the airport lands some issues are being forgotten.

Of course, there are those people in Sidney who don’t want anything to change – they like it just the way it is. And understandably it is pretty fine as it is – a small town feel with locals running the small businesses. No one wants to lose what they have.

What happens all too often when large commercial malls appear, is that the core of a town dries up. Shoppers always want a better deal and sometimes malls provide them – sometimes not. One large commercial business replaces other smaller ones. That’s a fact.

But, what isn’t being talked about, at least for those naysayers is the fact that there are landlords who own property in Sidney who are charging outrageous rents. Looking around there are many vacant business premises. How can anyone possibly make a go of it when most of their profit goes just to the rent?

Landlords with vacant commercial space would be far better off if they lowered the rent and had a steady income rather than having a storefront sit vacant for months – if not years. That is a big problem and it isn’t unique to Sidney, it is an issue in many small towns. What needs to happen is for the businesses in the centre of Sidney to maintain their uniqueness, offer up items and goods that are not found in strip malls and provide the best possible service with a genuine smile. People will come and shop because they love to wander around Sidney. It’s a great little city and it can remain that way.

While we may have to make way for change, we can control that change. No one has to shop across the highway, no one needs to go there if they prefer to shop the way they do now. And it is crucial to continue to support the businesses in Sidney and area. A new shopping mall provides other opportunities (like jobs) but just because it’s there it doesn’t mean you have to go there.

Sidney will retain it’s uniqueness but it is up to the residents to ensure they support local business.