Dear reader, it’s a very interesting experience living here in Downtown St. John’s, Newfoundland. For those unfamiliar with the City of Legends, “Downtown St. John’s” is an area roughly equivalent in size to a washroom in the New York Subway, only with fewer people.

Every time I walk down the main strip (Water Street), I see 3 new business that never existed before, and 5 more that have vanished since the last time I was there. It’s like the entire area is made up of popup stores that come and go with the wind.

I refuse to believe that all of these businesses closed up shop because the owners didn’t know what they were doing. Surely there can’t be that many incompetent nitwits outside of the ones we’ve elected.

So what’s the reason? Are there blocks in place that inhibit small brick-and-mortar businesses as there are in other cities? I’ve heard entrepreneurs make the complaint that some cities in the True North Strong and Free deliberately make it almost impossible to BE a small business, favouring instead huge, big-box, low-value, retail behemoths and chain businesses that gather, herd-like, in clumps of pedestrian-unfriendly “power centers” on the outskirts of cities, like invading armies waiting for the ideal moment to lay siege to an unsuspecting populace.

Good lord on a bicycle Mac, who rattled your cage?

I must apologize dear reader. You obviously don’t want to listen to me rant about the exigencies of being a small business owner in Canadia-land. Having said that, I DO think the subject is one that bears examination, especially in this age when entrepreneurship is on the rise and corporations are combining to create huge, mega-corporations that own everything but own up to nothing.

It almost seems like governments, both large and small, make lots of supportive noises about supporting “the small businesses and entrepreneurs who move our economy forward” while simultaneously undermining those self-same small businesses and entrepreneurs in favour of corporate interests, who have access to powerful political lobbyists “who move our political ambitions forward.”

I’m being absurdly cynical of course. No government would EVER fall prey to political lobbying by corporations who could for example, using petty cash, purchase the moon. This is a 100% unassailable, true fact of the non-false variety. Also, JFK is alive and working at a Denny’s in Yonkers, New York.

Ladies and gentlebeings of the world-wide-inter-web-net, sound off! Let me know what the environment is like for small business / entrepreneurship in YOUR corner of Terra Firma.

Let’s start this conversation and compare notes. If there’s one thing governments, corporate overlords and other ne’er-do-wells don’t like, it’s when average citizens like us (or to use a technical corporate term, “rabble”) get together and communicate. Movements and even revolutions have begun that way.

Let’s get down to business shall we?

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