On Thursday, WindsorEats was the first to announce that after four years of serving fantastic crepes, Creperie Omer on Ottawa Street will be relocating to Chatham, Ontario.
Owner Gerry has become frustrated with the lack of support from the municipal government which echoes a recent article in the Windsor Star.
“Chathams municipal government is doing everything it can do get investment in their core” explains Gerry.
That isn’t the only thing that has got on his nerves though as he mentions ever rising Enwin Utilities rates as another reason his business is leaving Windsor. “The business licence in Chatham is half the cost, too.”
While he understands that Chatham has half the population of Windsor, he believes that the population is much more concentrated and willing to support local ventures.
While currently a member of the Ottawa Street Business Improvement Association, Gerry doesn’t think it is an issue of poor management by the B.I.A.
“The B.I.A. has done everything that they can. I don’t know if the problems in Windsor are B.I.A. problems or just city problems in general” says Gerry.
He also is adamant that the municipal government needs to address the issue of big box companies on the fringes of Windsor which have often been pointed to as the culprit of our core areas being depleted of local businesses.
“We’re talking about a 25% vacancy rate in the B.I.A.’s” Gerry says. “The problem isn’t so much people not wanting to open up shop in Windsor, the problem is why would they open up in Windsor? What incentive is there for a small business owner to open up in Windsor?”
He thinks the municipal government needs to start focusing on what it can do to get small businesses back into the B.I.A.’s.
“The B.I.A.’s are trying to do what they can, but in reality it is not a B.I.A. issue, it is a municipal issue.”
At the end of the day, Gerry has been very thankful for and appreciative of all his customers and continually asked me to thank them for him. So from Gerry to you: Thank you very much for four fun years!
Creperie Omer’s final day of operation in Windsor will be May 30, 2010 and Gerry would love to see you stop by for one last crepe.