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Your Voice: A letter to council, the mayor and the RCMP from a downtown business owner

All letters to the editor published by KelownaNow reflect only the opinions of the readers who write them, and not necessarily those of KelownaNow or its staff.


My name is Raegan Hall and I have been a downtown business owner of Blonde Women’s Retail Boutique for 16 years.

From the trenches I can tell you that the daily condition of our downtown has never been such a disappointing embarrassment.

<who>Photo Credit: Blonde/Facebook

Every day my employees report incidents of horrifying hassles from unsavory clientele whose only purpose when they come inside my store is to hurl insults and terrify my staff and customers, and steal.

These unfortunate residents have taken over.

They have more rights than tax paying residents.

These are not weekly or monthly disturbances, they are DAILY.

My employees are terrified to come to work, and locals are coming downtown less and less because of this particular issue.

Fortunately my business thrives in the summer when the tourists brave the streets, but even they are electing to visit alternative destinations because of the increasingly sketchy Kelowna vibe.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia

I have travelled extensively and have always treasured visiting the downtown heart of cities and communities.

Downtowns are important, and this is why I originally invested in Kelowna’s in 2004.

Approximately 180 businesses have closed or relocated from our downtown since I started my business.

If this homeless and drug infested population does not get handled swiftly and properly, our once vibrant downtown is going to become a ghost town overrun with what looks to me like a zombie apocalypse.

I am sensitive to the predicament of these individuals, and the solution is simple, relocate the Gospel Mission.

Our community is growing at a whiplash pace, so the faster that this relocation can happen, the better.

How can I help?

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