Waterloo business owners came out in droves to a City of Waterloo committee meeting Monday night to speak against a newly tabled sign by-law.

Part of the proposed by-law would prohibit mobile signs for many business owners in Waterloo.

Ben Nightingale, owner of Shoes 22 told 570 News his business would be devastated without mobile signs.

“Basically it would just destroy the fabric of the business,” Nightingale said. “When the sign is down … our sales automatically drop. Right now we calculate the advertising (cost) to be $9 a day. $270 a month.”

Julius Kallay owner of Pro Music School, said if he cannot use mobile signs, his business would be in trouble.

“If we lose mobile signs, I expect we will drop below sustainable income levels within three years, 28 years down the drain and for what, so that the aesthetics are a little nicer,” Kallay said, “The portable signs are just apart of commerce, there is business going on.”

Dave Gill, owner of React Mobile Signs, told 570 News that his clients say mobile signs are the most effective way to draw in business.

“They say that signs are they most effective form of advertising they use, and to lose that would be very detrimental to their business,” Gill said.

Mark Whaley, Waterloo City Councillor told 570 News council is not in place to put anybody out of business, “We try to find a balance between what works for business and what works for the citizens. I don’t think this proposed by-law reaches that balance.”

“We heard from the business community tonight that the sign by-law is going to be really hard on them and potentially put some people out of business.”

The draft by-law comes back to council on October 22 with a final decision to be voted upon before years end.

“It was a very contentious issue tonight, so it is likely that it will be a little while after that before we can make a decision on it.” Whaley said.

Mike.McCulloch@rci.rogers.com