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The waffle house on the 17th Avenue accuses the closure of the tax increases, the construction of roads


Sam Friley, owner of Buttermilk Fine Waffles, said his business was severely affected by a massive increase in property tax and ongoing road closures for the 17th revitalization project of the adventure , moving away from the business of the stores and stores that normally occupied. Friley raises in his 17 Ave S.W. Location in Calgary on Sunday, December 30, 2018.

Jim Wells / Postmedia

The owner of a restaurant in Calgary says he is considering a new business model after high taxes on commercial property and a low traffic on foot thanks to the construction of the 17th Avenue, which made it impossible to obtain benefits.

But closing the doors can open a window so that the restaurant does something a bit different, eliminating the brick and mortar model in favor of selling meals in "market style sites."

Sam Friley, the founder of Buttermilk Fine Waffles, said that its bottom line was severely affected by road closures for the 17th Avenue revitalization project, moving away from the usual bus and restaurant stretch business.

"We lost half of our revenues this year for four months," Friley said about the city's construction project that closed all traffic to Buttermilk.

Add a corporate property tax that rose from $ 11,000 to $ 25,000 in recent years and Friley said that he had no choice but to buy in the new year.

Despite what Friley called a "frustrating" battle to prevent clients from returning to the specialty store in difficult economic times, closing could lead to a new business opportunity.

Sam Friley, owner of Buttermilk, puts beautiful waffles in his 17 Ave S.W. Location in Calgary on Sunday, December 30, 2018. The popular restaurant closes due to a series of rising costs and income due to construction. Jim Wells / Postmedia

Jim Wells / Postmedia

Friley said that opening stands in places like farmer markets could solve their visibility and traffic problems.

"It was a species of epiphany that we fight in Calgary is the density … If you do not have this organic density in Calgary, these sites can create this density for you."

Stores throughout the retail range have repeatedly raised their concerns about the decline in activity caused by construction, which has closed the four lanes of traffic on the 17th Avenue S.W. a block while crews move westward from Macleod Trail to 14th Street.

Amber Ruddy, director of provincial affairs of the Canadian Independent Business Federation, said the city could have done more to support the companies affected by construction, such as offering the teams a "financial incentive" for Finish the project before or "sanctions" to pass the calendar

"This is beyond the dust and dirt and the disadvantages of moving parking. This happens to the businesses of people who, in fact, lose income and can not stay", said Ruddy.

With regard to the tax burden felt by small businesses in Calgary, Ruddy said that the city must find ways to reduce the budget instead of focusing on "cost containment" if it wants to support companies that look for an economic advantage.

Ruddy said that a recent study by the federation showed that the city spends "almost double what is sustainable" and needs to "find a way to control its operating budgets" or risk rising away from more companies.


The closing of Buttermilk was announced on Friday online and Friley said that the following weekend was the most active business for more than three years.

Friley said he hopes to open another Buttermilk location in the future, but "do not hesitate to sign a lease in Calgary," he added that he is exploring licensing options and franchises for the restaurant of others. Canadian cities.

Restaurants can be risky businesses and Friley acknowledged that "he rolled the dice."

But he said the city did not allow local businesses to favor the "increases" of fiscal increases and the slowdowns of construction, and called for the work of ongoing roads "a deadly blow for businesses."

The crew have been working on the revitalization project of the twenty-fifth Avenue of $ 44 million since January 2017.

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