There are millions of commercial square footage that has been developed in the City of Greater Sudbury.
There are numerous developers who are responsible for those commercial spaces, and there are even more tenants renting them.
The point is, that adds up to a lot of potential if you take into account Dalron Group of Companies' newest fundraising initiative for the Sudbury Food Bank. Dalron has developed roughly 800,000 square feet of commercial space in Sudbury to date.
And, if Dalron president Ron Arnold is able to encourage his tenants to participate in his newest initiative, it could translate into an additional $80,000 a year to help fill the shelves at the food bank.
That's because Dalron has offered its lessees the opportunity to support the food bank by adding five cents per square foot to their rent per year. Dalron will match whatever is raised.
For instance, Dance Evolution owner Ali Loney is the first entrepreneur to sign up for the program. She is currently renting the space at the 129 Elm St. It's a 6,000-square-foot building, and at five cents per square foot, she'll be donating $300 a year. With Darlon's matching contribution, it means an extra $600 in total for the food bank.
Loney said she wants to start the ball rolling on this fundraiser.
“I'm happy to be the first, but I certainly hope that more businesses take on this initiative,” Loney said during the grand opening of Dance Evolution. “Their little donation can go a long way, especially with Dalron matching those donations.”
Loney said she didn't even have to think about signing on.
“We help out with multiple charities in the community, and this is our first time getting involved with the food bank, and we're happy to do it.”
Arnold was a board member with the food bank for many years, and he was looking for a way to give back, said John Arnold, Dalron's commercial manager.
“This is a creative way to provide the food bank with what we call reoccurring revenue, which means every year, they'll be getting these funds. Commercial leases are paid annually, and leases are typically three to five years, so (any lessees that sign on) are committing to that time frame.
“It's easy for us, and it's easy for the tenants, because it's not a large amount of money off their bottom line.”
It will add up little by little, said Sudbury Food Bank Executive Director Dan Xilon, but the difference spread over a lot of people means there is a lot of potential.
“It's a very exciting opportunity,” he said.
Dalron will take care of all the accounting, and the food bank will issue charitable tax receipts for those who sign on.
“So really, all you have to do is say yes or no, and that's it,” he said.
Currently, the food bank provides support to more than 14,000 Sudburians every month through more than 47 local food providers including infant food programs, 80 school feeding programs and hot meals for the homeless.