Over the past few weeks the importance of small businesses has come up in a number of different settings. After the Lets do Breakfast event with Golden mayor Christina Benty, I discussed how important these types of businesses are to an area like Golden with both Benty and Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald.
Both politicians spoke not only of what the businesses provide to the residents in the community but also how important it is moving forward to show our support.
Some of these businesses were a part of the Community Excellence Awards, which brought people together in a night of celebration and fun.
Added to this were the residents who came before council to let their opinions be known about a proposed zoning bylaw change.
Both small and home based businesses were on the agenda as people wanted to clarify and talk about the concerns they have over what the new bylaw might do to some of these businesses.
Small businesses in small towns seems to be in a battle at times when you look at the other options people have to choose from in today’s marketplace.
One thing is for sure, for your everyday life the small local businesses in town provide more that you may realize.
If you go to larger cities and towns, many of the smaller businesses are slowly disappearing due to the money saved at bigger box stores.
This is not a new story.
For a number of years the “Wal-Mart” effect, where it seems all larger stores that you find in many places have the one store for everything model. This is a debate I have heard many times, not only in Golden, but also when I lived in Invermere, Toronto, Newfoundland and even overseas.
The box stores are almost everywhere, but realistically, I do not see them moving into Golden and many people do not seem too interested in having them here anyways.
The importance of the smaller stores and businesses is a simple one.
They came to the Golden area to start doing what they do and if they were not here what would the people do?
Small and home-based businesses affect what we can do, what we can eat, what you can buy and many other daily activities. Could you imagine not having daycare facilities for your children?
It is tough in today’s world. Money is not going as far as it once did and the lure of a bargain is there.
People will be heading to cities like Calgary for a night and a little shopping on the side.
That is the nature of the beast and has not changed much over the years.
What has changed is, as the money has tightened for residents, it has become that much tougher for the local businesses to survive.
This survival comes down to people doing what they can to help out.
I am not going to preach the don’t shop at a box store if you happen to pass by one because people have the right to shop where they want.
However, this doesn’t mean you do not support the local businesses.
If these people did not have the passion and drive that they do, many small towns would struggle that much more just to survive.
So do what you can to help them stay ahead of the game. That is all any of us can do, and be happy they are here because things would be tough without them.