What has motivated your interests and journey? How do you hope to make a difference?
Running small business ventures in the city of Toronto is an expensive and largely unsupported endeavor. Landlords charge unreasonable storefront rental fees to small business owners operating in the city. More and more businesses are closing because they can no longer afford the monthly rental fees.
The Small Business Affordability Crisis is a bigger challenge than one may think. It affects businesses that have been in the city for a long period of time, businesses on the brink of success, and sometimes business that are well-known. The Small Business Affordability Crisis is imposing a big threat both in the local economy and city’s appearance.
Urban sustainability is more than just greener renewable energy and efficient infrastructures. Culture plays a vital role too. Cities that are unfriendly to small businesses are cities that are boring; a city without small business and only big-name brands would be a city with no characteristics. Even though a ‘support local’ movement exists, it is difficult to find local products and services, and one of the few sources of promotion for small businesses are often inconsistent craft shows
What’s the latest project you have been working on and would like to share with the SofC audiences?
I seek to establish the University of Toronto School of Cities as a leader in small business support efforts. The first step of the solution to the small business affordability crisis and business profitability at a time of pandemic is to provide small businesses with a digital platform to enhance their business through marketing. Hopefully when things return to normal, I will be able to bring the project to the next level where I will be hosting regular markets to make the ‘support local’ movement more accessible to the members of the community.
I am currently working on two separate projects (1) a regularly published magazine (both digitally and print), and (2) regular radio shows featuring interviews with local entrepreneurs discussing topics from how they are handling business during COVID-19, to their take on the city’s small business landscape. The podcasts work in tandem with my magazine to promote personalities behind small businesses; after all, personality is the distinguishing factor between small and big businesses. If you are interested in what I am doing, please visit the website at https://tenatch.ca