Next weekend area businesses will be lauded for their efforts in providing great customer service and products when Powell River Chamber of Commerce hosts its annual business awards.
For more than two decades consumers have been invited to vote for a business in a number of categories that stand out among the many enterprises in our community.
Voting has closed and a panel of judges has met to decide the finalists and winner in each of 13 categories. It cannot be an easy task.
Even to be nominated for an award lets a business owner or operator know that people appreciate the effort they make to provide services, products or menus.
Larger businesses are often operated by chains but they are staffed with people who live and work in our community. Their contribution to the fabric of our local society is important.
Small businesses make up the largest percentage of the overall economy, in Powell River, BC and Canada. The proprietors have the added risk of putting their own money up to make the dream of owning a business a reality.
It is the combination of both larger and smaller enterprises that determine the economic health. Based on the definition of small business in Canada as being one with fewer than 100 employees, it is unlikely there are more than 20 in Powell River that would be outside that category. They would include chain stores and banks, which are part of very large businesses.
When we consider the generosity of businesses that say yes to the multitude of requests for items to be auctioned off at fundraisers throughout the year, we must continue to express our gratitude. Maintaining a healthy economy means that generosity keeps being viable, as well as the opportunity for employment, including first jobs for our young people.
Businesses require customers and customers require businesses, a symbiotic relationship that succeeds when there is balance. Imagine a community with no businesses; that is impossible.
On Saturday, February 2, businesses will toast one another at Dwight Hall and celebrate the hard work and determination it takes to contribute to a healthy economy.
We all raise a toast to our local businesses and to the chamber, which supports them through advocacy, government relations and luncheons with informative speakers throughout the year.