Mayor and Area A director answer questions on small business

Each week leading up to the municipal election, we ask our reps pertinent questions to the community

Mayor and Area A director answer questions on small business

This week’s question: How do you support small business and entrepreneurship in the community?

Town of Golden Mayor Ron Oszust

In order to support small business I do what I believe everyone should do, I BUY LOCAL, and so does the municipality when it’s able. Having been the owner of five local businesses over the past 30 years, I know firsthand the challenges and the great rewards of being entrepreneurial.

As a council we have the responsibility to be an advocate for business and we have done that many times and in many ways. We also work to create an environment that will allow businesses to develop, prosper, and grow. Entwined within that is the responsibility of the “common good” by creating and enforcing our own and “others” policies and practices that protect life, limb, and the taxpayers from future liability. There are times when these two ideals conflict.

Over the past nine years, council has consciously set direction to reduce the tax burden on Class 6 (business/other) such that in 2009 it generated 44.6 per cent of the total taxation in Golden to this year (2018) it now represents 40.84 per cent of the total taxation. Those percentages may not seem large but they do have significance.

CSRD Area A director Karen Cathcart

As the Electoral Area A director, I believe local government folks have a role in building a supportive climate for small business and entrepreneurs. Working with community groups and business owners to identify the services that are critical to do business in Golden and the area community.

One such service would be high-speed Internet and cell coverage, specifically in Area A. I continue to work with the Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation and the Rural Broadband Committee to push the need for adequate service across the community and work directly with them to move this service.

Although it would seem that nothing is being done, as you sit at home trying to connect, (I understand this frustration very well), I want to ensure folks that we are making headway in the area of higher speed Internet and cell coverage for Area A. As I have often stated, if it was an easy fix, it would be done by now.

Adequate Internet and cell service is critical for economic development to attract and retain folks to our community to build small business and entrepreneurs.