Costume Store Calgary | Fight the Fight: Uniting the Community Against Unjust Import Duties
The Costume Shoppe's Fight Against Unjust Import Duties
Costume Store Calgary | At The Costume Shoppe, we are facing an uphill battle that threatens the very heart of our beloved business. For years, we've been a source of joy and creativity in Calgary, offering an extensive range of costumes to our community. However, a storm of import duty fees is casting a shadow over our future.
Unearthing Unfair Taxation: A Painful Discovery
Our story begins with the importation of our diverse stock under Chapter 9505 of the Canadian Customs Tariff, a tax-free category. We have taken pride in being a hub for festive wear, where people could express themselves and partake in the magic of celebrations. Yet, the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) has reclassified costumes as "fancy dress" imports, subjecting us to unjust tariffs.
Burdened with Retroactive Fees
The weight of this decision transcends our store and extends to our owner, Ryan Schoel. He faces retroactive import duty fees estimated at a staggering $100,000 - $200,000 dating all the way back to 2021. The financial burden is not only threatening our business but also our home and our family's future. Unacceptable is an understatement for how we feel.
An Uneven Playing Field
We have noticed a troubling disparity. Larger retailers importing similar products are not grappling with the same fees we are. The question of fairness in government policies looms large. We, a small, independent costume shop, are unfairly singled out.
The Catch-22 of Filing an Appeal
While we are determined to fight this injustice, the path to justice is littered with challenges. The appeal process is available, but there's a significant catch – we must pay the duties before initiating the appeal, even when we're confident that the decision to tax our products is fundamentally flawed.
The Obvious Nature of Halloween Costumes
The absurdity of the situation is undeniable. Our products are unmistakably Halloween costumes, not everyday clothing. Ghost Face,Luigi – these are classic examples of costumes that are far from typical attire. Try going to the bathroom in one of those!
MP Shuvaloy Majumdar's House of Commons Support
In a remarkable show of support, our local Member of Parliament, Shuvaloy Majumdar, has taken our cause to the highest level of government. He passionately defended The Costume Shoppe in the hallowed halls of the House of Commons. You can watch his statement here: https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cy6KkpEgjkh/?igshid=bzd2cGdsMDNxc2Jh
Defending Our Identity
The government's interpretation of "fancy dress" falls short of capturing the essence of Halloween costumes. Halloween is about embodying your favorite characters, expressing your creativity, and enjoying festive moments. This definition is too narrow to encompass the diversity of costumes we offer.
Community Support: A Ray of Hope
Our customers and the local community have responded to our situation with overwhelming support. We've received hugs, pro bono assistance for our appeal, and countless words of encouragement. This unwavering support fuels our determination to stand strong.
How You Can Help
Your support can make a significant impact on our battle. One way to show your solidarity is by reaching out to your local Member of Parliament (MP) on our behalf. Urge the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to review their processes and ensure fairness for small businesses like The Costume Shoppe.
But that's not all. We're also hosting a sale, a powerful way for you to contribute to our cause and join us in this crucial fight. The more funds we can raise, the stronger our position becomes. This sale isn't about donations; it's about us collectively earning the money we need to continue the battle for justice and fairness.
To learn more about how you can help, visit our dedicated page on The Costume Shoppe's website: https://thecostumeshoppe.com/fight/. Your involvement can truly make a difference and support our ongoing efforts to preserve the spirit of Halloween and the legacy of The Costume Shoppe.
What Motivates Us to Keep Fighting
What keeps us going? It's simple – our business is more than just a business. It's a family, a community, and a symbol of our values. At The Costume Shoppe, we believe in unity and inclusivity, and we'll continue to fight for the spirit of our Costume Store Calgary.
Join us in the battle to preserve The Costume Shoppe and keep the fun alive in our community. Together, we can make a difference.
A Special Thanks to Our Media Coverage
We are grateful for the attention our story has received from various media outlets. Their coverage has helped shine a light on our battle and the challenges we face. We want to extend our sincere thanks to:
City News: for their in-depth reporting and dedication to raising awareness of our situation.
Heena Saeed Video Journalist City News
Posted Oct 12, 2023 6:06 pm
Global News: for their continued coverage and support in spreading the word about our fight.
Posted October 18, 2023 5:59 pm
CTV News Calgary: for their commitment to sharing our story and helping us garner more support from our community.
CTV News Calgary Video Journalist
Updated Oct. 5, 2023 7:21 a.m. MDT
Published Oct. 4, 2023 3:24 p.m. MDT
A Community United
We are immensely thankful to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) for championing our cause and standing up for small businesses like The Costume Shoppe. Their dedication to highlighting the unfairness of the new import duty fees and their efforts to bring about change have been instrumental in our fight. The CFIB has not only provided a strong voice for us but has also advocated for cost relief and fairness in these challenging times. We are proud to be a part of the CFIB community, and their support reinforces our belief in the power of unity and the importance of standing up for what's right. Their involvement in our struggle goes a long way in highlighting the larger issue at hand, and we are grateful for their commitment to our cause.