We hear a lot about shop local and supporting businesses within your own town, but sometimes we wonder how much of that is lip service.
It’s a two-way street.
Local businesses have to ensure they offer competitive pricing and service before they can expect townsfolk to remain loyal. It’s amazing, but people will travel to Penticton just to save a few dollars, not realizing that it will actually cost them more in the long run. Some of us can’t help it; we are creatures of consumer habit.
What many don’t know is how much local business contributes behind the scenes. They donate money, time and equipment to help better their community. Their prices might be a little higher than the competition in Penticton, but look what they do for your town.
Recently one business owner spoke out in trying to level the playing field over a bidding contract for the Festival of the Grape (FOG). He even joined the South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce to get his foot in the door, but to no avail.
The Penticton business that has the contract for FOG has done a great job, so you can’t blame the committee for fixing something that’s not broken. But why not give Oliver a chance? Support local business, right?
The Chronicle recently discovered that another Oliver business got the short end of the stick when dealing with the FOG committee. This respectable company had been donating equipment for the event for the past few years and was asked again this year to provide this equipment. The company wasn’t able to give the committee an immediate answer, so the committee opted to acquire the equipment from the Penticton business that holds the FOG contract. The kicker – this equipment cost FOG “only $500.”
The Oliver business had been giving FOG this equipment to use free of charge, yet FOG was willing to pay an out-of-town company $500 for it. Perhaps this was a decision that had to be made at the last moment, but it was still a slap in the face.
We understand that members of the committee are unpaid and work extremely hard to make FOG a success every year. It’s a stressful job with a lot of responsibility. But maybe it’s time to review the playbook.
Let’s hope the new correctional centre will give Oliver businesses more opportunity to showcase what they have to offer. Once again, they will be competing with Penticton, but with the right marketing, they’ll stand as tall as anyone.