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Current level of business in Halifax not sustainable, business commission says

'We'll be seeing an increasing number of businesses close if the situation stays the way it is,' says Paul MacKinnon
081720 - downtown halifax
(Meghan Groff/HalifaxToday.ca)

The CEO of the Downtown Halifax Business Commission says the current level of business in the city is not sustainable.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the province's economy, and businesses in the downtown core are not immune.

MacKinnon says much of that has to do with the fact that many people are working from home, which means less traffic for businesses that need it.

He told NEWS 95.7's The Sheldon MacLeod Show he's hearing from businesses that their numbers are way down.

"The big piece of feedback we're getting from businesses is that the current level of business is not sustainable," he said. "We'll be seeing an increasing number of businesses close if the situation stays the way it is."

He believes there are opportunities for converting vacant commercial buildings in the downtown core to residential buildings, which could keep more people downtown.

"We already have a pretty high commercial vacancy rate and we've got a minuscule residential vacancy rate so there's already an immediate opportunity for the conversion of buildings," he said.

MacKinnon says roughly 20 per cent of people that normally work downtown are working there at this time.
 




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