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City effort helping new, expanding businesses
'Open for Business' has saved more than $20,000
Laura Strickland, owner of Salon 17 in Richmond Hill, applies the finishing touches to her client Nancy Juntensen. Strickland said without the city's program waiving connection fees, she may not have been able to open her business. - photo by Julia Harison

Several businesses in Richmond Hill have saved thousands of dollars by participating in the city’s “Open for Business” program.
The program, which began just two months ago, suspends all commercial water and sewer connection fees for one year. According to Richmond Hill City Manager Chris Lovell, four businesses in the city have realized combined savings of more than $22,000 by partaking in the initiative.
“One thing we’re really kind of focused on is if you have an empty lot with no one building on it, it’s zero income for the city,” Lovell said. “Waving these fees would incentivize folks to building businesses and it really helps the entire city from a taxpayer standpoint.”
One beneficiary of the program is Laura Strickland, owner of Salon 17 next to Plums and Richmond Hill Pharmacy. She said the program saved her $4,000 when she opened her salon.
“We thought it (the program) was rumored when we went to open the business, but when my husband called and found out it wasn’t, we saved like $4,000,” Strickland said.
With the savings, Strickland said she was able to include a third salon chair in her business instead of two that she had originally planned.
“I believe if I’d had to pay the $4,000, I wouldn’t be open right now,” she said.

Read more in the June 9 edition of the News.

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