Editorís note: The Gibsons and District Chamber of Commerce†and Coast Reporter are working on a series of articles to highlight the Chamberís theme for 2012 of ĎBusiness Supporting Community.í This series is focusing on the type of support that non-profit community groups and sports organizations receive†from the business community.
This month I want to speak to the benefits of doing business locally and how our community and local economy benefit from using the products and services provided by our local merchants and service providers.
This information is to help all of us be mindful of our choices when deciding where to spend our hard-earned dollars so we understand the true impact our choices have.
One critical factor to consider is local employment. The more robust our local businesses are, the more employment opportunities are available. This translates to several advantages. It creates opportunities for young people entering the work force and gives them the ability to stay and live on the Coast. It also influences a range of standard of living issues for all of us by strengthening the tax base for government to provide services such as hospitals, roads and infrastructure.
Access to services locally is directly related to how well local businesses do.
We are provided with a wider range of services and amenities in the local area when the local economy is strong. This can help us ensure we have choice and diversity from our retailers as they will stock goods that appeal to local customersí needs.
We also get to maintain our community character. Most people, when asked to recommend a restaurant or service, will refer people to unique local businesses. We all tend to appreciate the idea of distinctive businesses with local character. We canít forget that their survival depends on our patronage.
As we have discussed in our previous columns, community-based businesses are essential to charitable causes here on the Coast. Most of the charitable organizations we have spoken to have said local business are the base of their support models.
If a local business fails, we all suffer an impact that we sometimes donít realize.
It is up to us to plan for a future that will encourage the values we want reflected in our communities. We can control this by simply weighing the full value of our buying choices, not exclusively to our own immediate benefit, but for the future we want and the lifestyle we enjoy here in our own community.
The Gibsons and District Chamber of† Commerce is committed to supporting our business community by providing them a strong united voice on issues that affect all of us and our wonderful way of life on the Sunshine Coast.
Editorís note: Dean Walford is the vice president of the Gibsons and District Chamber of Commerce.