It seems appropriate to devote this month’s space to expressing the gratitude I feel to be a resident of this community and a support-person for this organization in particular.
I have an immense appreciation for the beauty, amenities and people who choose to live and work on the Saanich Peninsula. This is a community that thrives due to the efforts of volunteers. In our organization, we continue to build community through business under the leadership of our dedicated volunteer board members. The passionate volunteers who staff our Information Centre each year are the reason thousands of visitors and locals learn what is special about this area.
The team is crucial. We have a lot happening in the office on any given day and without Office Manager Pat Taylor and administrative support from Ilka McKenzie, the magic would not happen. They are skilled, committed to contributing to our members’ success and execute their tasks with precision and professionalism.
We exist to support our members. We are one of a number of volunteer community organizations but are the only one dedicated to the success of business and this is important because business is the heartbeat of our society.
Business leaders sponsor sports teams, contribute to the food bank and support the arts. They contribute to the tax base that funds our schools, policing and infrastructure. There have been studies done that demonstrate a link between small-business success and improved community-well being in areas such as better health of citizens and lower crime rates. Researchers have discovered that in communities where locally-owned businesses dominate, citizens are more active, there are stronger social networks, larger numbers of community organizations and superior public infrastructure.
There is something to be said for doing business with people who know us. The independent business community that exists here supports human connection. While errands and shopping get done, impromptu conversations are sparked with friends and neighbours. This kind of interaction is the foundation of an engaged and resilient community. With this as our bedrock, all challenges can be tackled!