We are writing this as concerned Vancouverites and small business owners who value the local sourcing and manufacturing of great products. Our family business is called Simply Merino and we do our best to offer high quality, locally made Merino Wool garments for babies and kids up to age 12. In order to do this, we require a Vancouver-based manufacturer who employs talented seamstresses at a fair wage. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of qualified seamstresses and immigration laws in Canada are such that tailoring and seamstress work are not considered a skilled trade. Thus making immigration nearly impossible.
The trend we are seeing is that local businesses are being pushed out of the city due to Vancouver's unaffordable rent. Recently, after 28 years of business, our talented manufacturer has been forced to shut down and return to working in the construction industry because he just can't afford the 30% rent hike. He has to turn down work as he does not have enough sewers, and now has forced many local clothing businesses to find other manufacturers. Our company cannot find another local clothing manufacturer, as other companies are not taking new clients as they are in the same situation as our current manufacturer.
As a small business owner who relies on the flourishing of local manufacturers, we are saddened at the way that Vancouver is becoming less and less hospitable to small businesses who aim to stay local. Unless there are significant changes at the municipal and provincial government levels, it will become nearly impossible to find success as a small business in Vancouver.
Please share, as we would love to reach our mayor Gregor Robertson. Families and small businesses are forced to move out of Vancouver, and we need to do something before Vancouver changes forever.
Simply Merino Clothing Co.