Hats off to local small business

Burns Lake entrepreneurs regularly make the pages of the Lakes District News, and this week is no exception.

Burns Lake entrepreneurs regularly make the pages of the Lakes District News, and this week is no exception. It can be easy to take them for granted, but they are at the core of what makes this community a great place to live.

Stepping out on your own as an entrepreneur is one of the most challenging things a person can do in our modern economy. The deck isn’t stacked in your favour no matter what sector you consider.

Small retailers must find a sliver light in the shadow of big box stores and their massive buying power. Small industrial go-getters face capital costs and financing that can quickly cripple a nascent business before it’s had a chance to get off the ground and find its feet.

It is so much easier to collect a paycheque and turn your work brain off at the end of the day. The end of the day for local entrepreneurs usually means the beginning of their second job(s) as bookkeeper, business analyst, estimator, purchaser, and so on. It’s fair to assume that the eight hour work day doesn’t exist for small business owners.

Will to succeed – in a word, ambition – does not guarantee success. Ambition pays almost guaranteed dividends as an employee, but for an entrepreneur, hard-work and sleepless nights might not mean a thing for so many reasons beyond their control.

So why do they do it?

Some find great financial reward for their effort, but I bet most small business owners need to find their satisfaction in something other than that.

Anecdotally, most of the small operators whom I’ve talked to over the years say the same thing. They could probably take home the same money for less work if they simply worked for someone else. This doesn’t make them crazy, but it does make them outliers in our economy.

Many small business owners find their satisfaction somewhere else, whether it’s in a sense of being the masters of their own destinies or the satisfaction that comes from creating something out of the seeming nothing of an idea and a vision.

There’s not one village, town or city that wouldn’t be immensely poorer in their absence. Not just in terms of the jobs they provide, but in terms of the social and cultural diversification they bring to local economies and communities.

Think of all the small businesses in Burns Lake, even just the ones you visit on a regular basis. Now add to that mix the local organizations like the cinema, our Lakes District Arts Council, the Burns Lake Minor Hockey Association, the Omineca Ski Club, the Burns Lake Mountain Bike Association, and so on, that benefit greatly from generous local business sponsorship.

Take that collection and imagine Burns Lake without any of them. There wouldn’t be much left. What is left would look more like a large work camp than a community.

While this isn’t to say we owe it to local businesses to shop locally – nobody is more aware than those owners themselves that there has to be real value in shopping local – but, speaking for myself, I do feel compelled to give local business owners a fair shot.

This Friday is Mistletoe Mania, with a Christmas parade and late-night shopping. It’s a great opportunity to check out local businesses and return the support they consistently show to the community.

It’s worth stopping for a moment to think about all the things you love about Burns Lake, and then asking yourself how much of that relies on small, local business owners and their resilient spirit of free enterprise.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vehicles waiting for the highway to reopen. (Shashank Bangera photo/Lakes District News)
Vehicle incident claims life on Highway 16 east of Burns Lake

The accident resulted in highway closure

The victim of a homicide in Houston is Pietro Adamo. (Photo courtesy the RCMP)
Man dies from injuries following assault

Investigators looking for information on this homicide

Stikine provincial election candidates (clockwise from top left): Nathan Cullen, NDP; Darcy Repen, Rural BC Party; Rod Taylor, Christian Heritage; and Gordon Sebastian, BC Liberals.
‘Where is Annita McPhee?’: Cullen under fire from opening salvo of all-candidates forum

Four Stikine candidates spar during online debate from Prestige Hudson Bay Lodge in Smithers

(Wet'suwet'en Access Point on Gidimt'en Territory Facebook screenshot)
Ceremony a right at proposed CGL pipeline drill site: BC Union of Indian Chiefs

Indigenous land defenders cannot be criminalized and targeted, argues UBCIC

(File graphic)
Man dies in Gitlaxt’aamiks (New Aiyansh) after being taken into police custody

IIO and BC Corners Service conducting independent investigations

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry answers questions during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. sees record-breaking daily COVID infections with 499 new cases over weekend

Two people, both in the Lower Mainland, died due to the virus over the weekend

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A B.C. man decided to create a website to help people find family doctors accepting patients. Because Victoria is considered high-demand, clinic openings can’t be posted publicly. (Unsplash)
Vancouver Island man starts website that connects B.C. residents with doctors

Nanaimo man started project to help people find family physicians accepting patients

Voting station at Tzeachten Hall in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent on the first day of advance voting in the provincial election on Oct. 15, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. VOTES 2020: 380,000 British Columbians head to polls in first 4 days of advance voting

Some of highest voter turnout so far has been seen on Vancouver Island and in Shuswap

Grant and Barbara Howse, in quarantine in Invermere. Mike Turner photo
Denied entry into U.S., Kootenay couple still forced to quarantine for 2 weeks

The rules around crossing the U.S. border led to a bizarre situation for an Invermere couple

Most Read