Pan Am Games and the effect on Toronto Small Business.

By IanIn standard13th July, 2015

Pan Am Games LogoToday’s blog was supposed to be about entrepreneurial trends and list some statistics, but instead we are going to talk about some issues that our office space clients are talking about regarding the Pan Am Games in Toronto.

With the Pan Am games in Toronto, many of our office clients have chosen to either work from home or to take public transit to the office. This is mainly due to the added road congestion caused by the temporary HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes on the Don Valley Parkway and the Gardener Expressway. The intent of these lanes is to allow official Pan Am Games vehicles, buses, taxi cabs and vehicles with more than 3 persons to move along the roadways faster and avoid traffic.

One of our office space tenants mentioned this morning that they would try using an Uber car to get to work, but they quickly found out that because Uber is not a taxi, they could not use the HOV lane and were stuck in the congestion on the the Don Valley Parkway with all the other cars trying to get downtown.

There are also some of our office-for-rent clients who have chosen to use bicycles as their commuting option during this summer of the Pan Am and the Para Pan Am Games. Yes, even this blogger has purchased a new bicycle this summer to get to the office and around town. That was until I got a flat tire. This morning before heading to the office, I took my bike to Charlies Bike Joint and had my flat fixed for $15 plus HST. I will be writing more about Charlies Bike Joint and Charlies Freewheels in another blog because it is a great cause – and is also a registered charity that more people need to support.

You know the old saying “if you can not beat them, join them”? That is exactly what one of our office space tenants did for the Pan Am Games. Because their business is slower during the summer months, they decided to become a volunteer driver for four weeks of games and the time leading up to the games. All of their calls are being forwarded to one of their colleagues and they are still accessible on their cellphone for important business conversations.

Outside of hospitality and tourism-based businesses, many small business owners are not benefiting from the Pan Am Games in Toronto. While some small businesses are not seeing the direct benefits, other entrepreneurs are finding ways to make the best of the inconveniences. One of our virtual office clients who regularly rents out our boardrooms and meeting rooms (at a reduced rate compared to other members of the general public ) is booking more meeting room time to meet with foreign clients who are doing business while attending the Pan Am Games.

The bottom line is, rather than complaining about the negative effects of Toronto hosting an international event, smart entrepreneurs are finding ways of making the best of a situation they cannot control. We really want to hear from entrepreneurs and small business owners as to how they are dealing with the inconveniences – but more so, how they are turning it around and going with the flow.