Help small businesses thrive on the North Shore

Before we closed Sprout Market this summer, my husband and I supported small local farmers and paid them their asking price for everything. We took on new crafty items made right here in BC, and provided healthy, environmentally-friendly items to every customer.

As the North Shore has changed, operating a small business became more and more challenging. Traffic problems meant customers simply could not get to us. Foreign-owned big box stores lured away customers with impossible-to-match pricing. A lack of affordable leasing options or even a retail space purchase meant moving would be beyond our means. We miss every customer dearly and feel for our farmers who will be forced to accept lower prices as they sell into big box stores (if they even can).

My husband, Greg Robins, is running for the District of North Vancouver Council, and I’m asking for you to support him. His plan is to bring the concerns of small businesses to light in the chamber. We know far too many businesses like Sprout on the verge of closing and feel if they do, we will lose not only the character these small enterprises offer the community but also the jobs and eventually, our residents.

This will be our second closure on the North Shore. The first business, Organics@Home, was forced to close because the District would not invite us to alter our business licence to allow our beloved Saturday Market.

We need more protection for small business, more flexibility in the face of multi-national competitors, and a voice at the table. I

Before you vote on this year, please¬†see Greg’s platform and plan at

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