OUR VIEW: Shop local requires team effort

With October being Small Business Month and the business awards next week, small business is front and centre.

With October Small Business Month in British Columbia, Small Business Week running until this Friday and Community Futures Boundary’s business awards ceremony set for this coming Tuesday (Oct. 23) small business (less than 50 employees) is certainly front and centre.

Minister of State for Small Business, the Honourable Naomi Yamamoto, was also in town this past Monday and held a forum on small business and being a former business owner, understands the dilemmas that small business owners go through.

She said the small business community is the backbone of the country and said she was going throughout the province to see how small businesses thrive.

Grand Forks’ Mayor Brian Taylor was in attendance at the forum and said that the city is taxing at the municipal level more than it wants to and that is a burden on small businesses.

That coupled with increased exemptions at the border can have a detrimental effect on local business owners and a way to ease the burden on small businesses is the concept that is all too familiar and possibly clichéd – shopping local.

The reasons for shopping local have been echoed by many – supports the local economy, can save the environment, as you aren’t driving as far as a cross-border shopping trip to the U.S. and so on and so forth.

But as B.C. Southern Interior MP Alex Atamanenko said in a recent column, that commerce isn’t only a one-way street, which is very true.

Businesses can also do their part and it doesn’t have anything to do with pricing.

There was a recent initiative to make businesses more family friendly, which includes allowing mother’s to breastfeed in businesses – a more welcoming environment in a business can’t hurt business and mothers are consumers just like anyone else.

Also, business owners should practice what they preach and not cross-border shop.

In order for the local economy to thrive and the shop local concept to truly work, everyone must take part, not just some.

It’s not easy owning a business these days and with prices seemingly always on the rise, it’s not easy being a consumer either but for small businesses in the area to thrive, everyone must do their part.

– Grand Forks Gazette

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