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COMMENTARY · 2nd April 2012
Walter McFarlane
Three Businesses have been cut from Kitimat so one could move into the mall. There is no excuse for this.

First off, we lose Book Masters / The Source because the Source terminated the Source half of the business. Why? So they could open up a Corporate Owned Source here in town.

Then we lose the Dragon Café. Why? Because the Source wants to move into the space operated by the Kitimat Pizza Factory and the Pizza Factory needs a new spot.

It doesn’t end there though. With the closure of the Dragon, the Sun Spot, owned by the same owner, closes as well. Why? Because the owner does not want to go through the same thing again a few months down the road with all the rumours of a hotel being built in the mall.

In addition, the Pizza Factory, a business who has established themselves in their current location have to move. They have big heavy pizza ovens which will need to be moved. They will probably have to renovate the new space. They will most likely lose business while all this is going on. Probably the worst part is that people will likely blame them in this whole process which is unfair because this is not their fault.

The decision to inconvenience these four businesses came from outside of Kitimat. A decision to move a corporate owned Source Store into our community. All four of the businesses, Book Masters, the Sunspot, the Pizza Factory and the Dragon Café are / were owned by local owners.

However, it was not just the local owners who were inconvenienced. The three stores who are closing / closed employed a number of local residents whose jobs have just been cut by a corporate decision beyond their control.

Their loyal customers have been displaced as well and now have to find new locations to shop and go for coffee. This goes even further though.

The stores which have inconvenienced were stores which gave back to the community. The Book Masters have hosted authors in the past and work with the Public Library to bring authors into town. They have worked with many local groups to sell tickets for upcoming performances, fundraisers and events.

The Pizza Factory and the Dragon Café are visible around the community at large events. The Pizza Factory host’s a pancake breakfast with Santa around the Christmas season.

All of these businesses allow events and fundraisers to advertise upcoming events in their store windows. All of these businesses have donated prizes to fundraisers for various community organizations and events. All of these businesses make Kitimat a better place to live.

It hurts the community to lose them.
Boycott?
Comment by Apocalypse Now on 23rd April 2012
I will definitely shop at the source ,as long as it saves me a trip to terrace ,I will welcome them with open arms,and most importantly wallet.
Outside interests have no interest in Kitimat
Comment by Linda M on 20th April 2012
Its very sad when businesses owned by local residents are forced out, all to accomadate a large corperation. The problem with commercial land and malls being owned by people that dont live here, is that they dont really care about our community. they care about making a profit , which they have a perfect right to do. However their profit is at the expense of the residents and community. What can we do? Exactly what has been proposed. Boycott. If its not profitable, they wont stay and maybe the mall owner will wake up. As I understand it, the mall sits 3/4 empty because of the enourmous rents Mr.Minni charges for the spaces. Again, doesnt live here, doesnt care.
When the new Source opens, people will be very curious to go and inspect the new store. Dont .Curiousity killed the cat and will help kill Kitimat. I would bet my life that any profits made, will not stay or benefit Kitimat in any way, unlike Bookmasters or the Dragon cafe. They may do the token stunt to draw in business or even contribute to a fundraiser in some way, but it will all be to benefit them.
Kitimat is starting to be a booming economy, companies will be coming from all over to pull as much as they can out of our community, and thats the way of the world, but lets not let them do it at our citizens expense. We can welcome new business without letting them kill locally owned ones. Or one day after the economy slows and all the outsiders are gone, Kitimat will be left as a husk.
Calm down every one....
Comment by Apocalypse Now on 10th April 2012
As much as I hate to see the Pitzels going out of business,we do not need any more excuses to shop in Terrace. An actual retail outlet in the mall as opposed to construction company store fronts is a good thing.
Ric Willis
Comment by Ric on 7th April 2012
Re Gary's comment.
I fully agree, and we have notified the company of our concerns and intention not to shop there.
Ken and Linda were treated very poorly by the Mall Managemeent and the Source
Ric
Simplest Solution
Comment by Gary Edwards on 3rd April 2012
To me the simplest solution is to boycott the Source when they open the new corporate store.

For my part, and even though I don't live in the area and rarely shop at the Source (which is the Canadian breakaway for Radio Shack) I will now be boycotting that company as I do the anti union Walmart.
Sad Day For Local Enterprises
Comment by Eileen on 2nd April 2012
It is such a disappointment to see these local successes wiped out with a single decision. Thank-you for getting the word out and explaining the situation. I am especially saddened to see the end of Bookmasters; Ken and Linda were such a wonderful asset to our community.
Hurts a lot
Comment by Aaron Mott on 2nd April 2012
This hurts the community a lot, I am really upset over the loss of the business. Bookmasters was the only place in town to buy books period, now people have to go to Terrace once again like they have to go for everything else. Furthermore, Bookmasters/ The source was an awesome place to pick up local souvenirs and nik nacks. I really hope that the Dragon Cafe finds a new place to locate. It is becoming harder and harder to find a good lunch in Kitimat for a reasonable price without resorting to fast food. These closures do not just affect Kitimat because of the lack of places to shop but also affects the economy less money is being spent in the community and thus less money is in the community. Kitimat is loosing out. some may think well we have Timmies coming in along with other business, but these are not locally owned, the profited money will be spent outside of the community. This is just something for us all to think about