Keremeos Councillor Gary Thielmann spent a couple of days in Penticton last week, representing the village during the annual Southern Interior Local Government (SILGA) convention.
In his report to council last Monday night, Thielmann noted that Lee Mossman, President of CUPE 338 in Kelowna, told an audience that if everyone spent 10 per cent more of their salary at home it would make a large economic impact in the small communities where that money would be spent.
The statement seems to echo what we are seeing happens in Keremeos.
A small business closes its doors after struggling for two years. The reason for closing? Not enough people coming in.
Another small business is upset that not only he – but other business people in the community – cannot benefit from municipal spending on large capital projects in the region.
A restaurant finds itself constantly adjusting its hours, closing for part of the day, or part of the week, to try and maximize business opportunity while minimizing business expense.
It’s not that these businesses don’t have business – at times, there is healthy economic activity taking place in the village.
The problem is not enough business – and without expensive detailed studies, it’s probably a good guess to say that little bit extra that local retailers need to do more than just survive – that is to thrive – is being bled off in consumer attitudes that always seek the obvious low price.
It’s not a new problem, but it’s one that an aspiring politician might want to consider taking on. After all, society has tackled other attitudes concerning such things as health and the environment – why not economic attitudes?
It’s an issue that an aspiring, interested politician might even garner some votes from.
After all, this is an election year.