EDITORIAL: A boost for biz

Real economic recovery and optimism is happening in other jurisdictions, something that many say is lacking in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Being a tourist in your own town is more enjoyable when one lives in a paradise like Parksville Qualicum Beach.

It’s even better when one gets to play tour guide for visitors.

Times are tough out there for business operators, and they deserve the support of residents.

They are your neighbours and they employ hundreds of your friends and relatives. This is their make-hay time, and they are getting little or no support from municipalities that are looking — often in the wrong places — to save a buck here, pay for infrastructure there.

Whether it’s a large operation or a small ice cream stand (watermelon-flavoured ice cream? who knew?), healthy businesses here are vital to the future of the region.

We presented a story recently about a small-business-owning couple who decided to sell their Parksville shop and move to Washington state.

It’s their money-making years, and despite a real love for the area and its people, they couldn’t see how they were going to make the money they needed to give their children the future they envision.

There were other reasons for the move, but there was an underlying theme to the comments of the owner who has returned to the fast-lane of the dot.com world outside of Seattle.

Gary Child is a former chamber of commerce president and was well-versed in all things business, especially its relationship to municipalities and their laws, policies and leadership.

He sees real economic recovery and optimism in Washington, something that many say is lacking here.

Real leadership requires balance.

When times are tough for local businesses, good municipal leadership demands some action. It seems even when a council does something to spur business (see Qualicum Beach’s village neighbourhood development cost charge reductions), entrepreneurs who take the bait get hammered by the public.

It makes no sense to radically change or react wildly to the ups and downs of the economy.

At the same time, it makes no sense for municipal leaders and residents to sit idly by and let the lifeblood of our communities twist in the wind when they need only a hand up, not a hand out.

— Editorial by John Harding