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HomeNewsGravenhurst staff will 'hit the ground running' to open more commercial space

Gravenhurst staff will ‘hit the ground running’ to open more commercial space

Brent Stevenson says the lack of commercial space available in Gravenhurst is preventing some businesses from growing. 

He is the officer manager for Stevenson Plumbing and Electric and spoke to Gravenhurst council on March 19 about the issue. Stevenson added he’s not alone in having concerns about the potential to grow business in Gravenhurst. 

“At this point, we cannot expand where we’re at,” he said. “We’re busting at the seems as it is.” 

The business has been situated at 295 Margaret St. since the late 1990s. It started in 1993 with the family’s garage featuring as its home base for the first few years. 

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“If we lose a job to a local company, fair, we need to be more competitive but when we see companies coming from out of town whether it be Orillia, Barrie, or otherwise that burns me,” said Stevenson. “We have the companies here that can do it, you just got to let us do our thing.” 

Stevenson says, ideally, their new space would be between 10,000 and 20,000 sq. ft. to allow their workforce of around 40 people and over 20 vehicles enough space to work and give the business room to grow. However, he hasn’t been able to find anything suitable in Gravenhurst. 

“Bracebridge has a little,” he adds about potential commercial space. “Huntsville has the most commercial property available.” 

He pointed out there are other businesses in the same situation and Coun. Sandy Cairns agreed. 

“There are other businesses out there that are looking to expand or others that want to move into our community and there isn’t and hasn’t been any serviceable land for a very, very long time,” she said. 

Deputy Mayor Randy Jorgenson, who chaired the meeting since Mayor Heidi Lorenz was away, put forward a motion to ask staff to look into what town-owned commercial properties could be suitable for future use by businesses. 

Andrew Stacey, director of infrastructure services, said the town is currently working with the District of Muskoka on exactly what the motion proposes. He added having additional direction from council will only benefit them going forward. 

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