Questionable enterprise

Frank and Stacy Fraser

Dear editor:
Helping out your family, a friend, or a neighbour whenever you can is a wonderful experience and usually much appreciated.
However, we have noticed many people driving around this winter with snow plows on their trucks and snow blowers and shovels in the back. During the summer months, many drive around our town with lawnmowers—and they’re not all helping out family, friends, or neighbours; they are providing a service for a fee.
For several years we have been reading in the paper and hearing on the radio that a number of people here in Fort Frances are willing to provide these services for a fee. They offer to plow, blow, and shovel snow, and clean off people’s roofs during the winter months.
During the summer, they offer to provide lawn care services—all for a fee.
Now, we’re all for private enterprise and do realize that times are tough, but we’re wondering how many of these people have followed the proper procedures to conduct business in our wonderful community.
As owners of a small business ourselves, we appreciate that there is quite a bit of work out there in these areas but have some questions regarding these “other” small businesses.
We purchase a Town of Fort Frances business licence each and every year, and are happy to do so to be allowed to conduct our business here in Fort Frances. We are wondering if these other small businesses have followed suit—or are even required to.
We wonder if all of them actually live in the Town of Fort Frances or in the outlying areas. We understand there is a difference in fees for those who don’t actually live within the town limits.
If they are required to purchase a business license, then who is responsible for ensuring that they do? If not, then why are we?
Wouldn’t the town benefit from collecting these fees?
We carry liability insurance and WSIB to protect the interests of both ourselves and our valued clients. Are all or any of these “other” small businesses also carrying this protection? Should someone you hired to clear off your roof fall and break an arm, leg, or neck, who is responsible? Can this person or their family then sue the homeowner?
Should someone you hire do damage to you or your neighbour’s property while performing the work he/she was hired to do, then who is responsible?
We suppport local businesses by making every effort to purchase all of our equipment and supplies within our community and nearby communities (Emo). Each year we purchase our business licence and insurance, and pay the appropriate taxes.
In doing so, we believe we are supporting the Town of Fort Frances and our local insurance broker while ensuring we provide the best possible service to our valued customers.
Frank and Stacy Fraser
Quality Custom Lawn
& Garden Services