Editor’s note: The Gibsons and District Cham-ber of Commerce and Coast Reporter are working on a series of articles to highlight the Chamber’s theme for 2012 of ‘business supporting community.’
This series will focus on the type of support that non-profit community groups and sports organizations receive from the business community. The Chamber is conducting surveys to gauge how these organizations are impacted overall and what would happen if they did not receive the support.
I have heard it said over and over again that we live in a very generous community. We have all heard the term trickle-down effect. This is usually the terminology used by economists and politicians. It does, however, clearly describe how the funds and goods donated by our local businesses filter through to benefit all of us.
Whether we benefit from lower costs for sports activities or to help feed hungry kids and provide support programs for low income and marginalized members of society, we all benefit in some way.
While the surveys are non-scientific, we are looking to help present a non-biased snapshot for all of us to understand how vitally important it is for the general population to support business locally.
This month we take a look at responses from our non-profit community groups which reflect the following:
• 53 per cent of responding groups receive over one-quarter of their support from local businesses.
• 33 per cent of respondents service more than 1,500 people annually.
• 93 per cent of respondents say their organizations would suffer significantly if they no longer received support from local business.
As an example, the Salvation Army offers several programs on the Coast that are impacted by business’ support. Programs such as our area food banks, one operated by the Salvation Army, receive as much as three-quarters of their support from local business. The impact of these programs is substantial, serving more than 4,000 meals in 2011. The bread and produce line had more than 11,000 visits, and programs like the material assistance program help get folks on their feet with the basic materials for their homes.
Sunshine Coast Com-munity Services Society runs several programs that benefit and are made successful due to support from the business community.
Through its four areas of focus: family and youth services, violence prevention, child development services and community in action, 28 programs are offered.
Community Services also runs a food bank in Sechelt that served more than 13,000 people in 2011.
There are many other organizations on the Coast that would not survive without business support. And how do those businesses offer that support? By all of us in turn supporting them.
— Submitted by Dean Walford, vice president, Gibsons and District Chamber of Commerce