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Hamilton reacts: Should downtown businesses stay open later?

Our story on store hours downtown has generated a lot of reaction. Here's a sample. Take our poll, and let us know if it's time for downtown shop owners to take the "leap of faith" and stay open into the evening.

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Shop owners say they need more people downtown to justify staying open longer. (Sunnie Huang/CBC)

Should businesses in downtown Hamilton be open later?

The city thinks so. Glen Norton, the manager of urban renewal in the city's planning and economic development department says it's time for Hamilton's downtown shops to stay open later to serve the area's many new residents — and help attract more of them.

The story CBC Hamilton ran Thursday about the core’s business hours generated quite a bit of discussion.

Here’s just a sampling:

There was reaction on facebook as well:
Annemarie Kiss said:  "Yes! I work downtown and would stay & shop downtown after work but end up having to stop at a mall or a big box store on my way home."

Marjorie Stuart-Baxter Throwdown:  I would LOVE it if I could actually go shopping on James or King after work. Would make downtown way more walkable at all hours. Definitely worth a pilot project to see if it takes, even if it's after the Royal Connaught fills up.

Robert Morrison: "Sounds good but have u see the street kids down ther after 5 scary and ive worked with circus animals ive felt safer with them than go down town at night?"

In the comments section of the story, there were almost three dozen comments:

Darken Angel said: "That's a lovely idea, Mr. Norton. But many entrepreneurs don't have the cash right now to be doing any such thing. Perhaps if the City might provide them a good reason? Some kind of incentive. A break on their taxes, maybe? Then we'd have something to talk about."

So what do you think? Should downtown businesses extend their hours? Take our poll, and let us know in the comments below.

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