Smoky River Express
Small Business Week takes place October 16 to 22, 2016 and the theme this year is, ‘Measure Up! Shape Your Future!’
We have a 28-page Small Business Week supplement as part of this week’s paper, with many businesses throughout the region participating.
Given the decline of the Alberta economy and the job losses that our NDP government is doing nothing about, our region needs to persevere through the recession and pursue economic development that meets the residents’ needs.
It’s certainly been a tough year for the Peace Country, with many companies either downsizing or shutting down due to the weak petroleum industry.
But I have seen a glimmer of hope. A few weeks ago, I saw some oil rigs being set up near the Hamlet of Guy.
It’s a far cry from the activity of just a few years ago, but it’s encouraging and I hope the petroleum industry will bounce back.
And we cannot forget agriculture, the other big industry in the Peace Country. Everywhere I looked, the fields were filled with bumper crops.
That’s due to the amount rain we’ve had, of course. In the nine years I’ve lived in the Peace Country, this is the wettest I’ve ever seen it.
And with the winter weather in tow, it’s likely some crops aren’t going to be harvested until next year.
Yes, there has been crop damage due to the amount of rain this year. But after confronting several years of drought conditions, farmers should be thankful for the weather we’ve had this year.
As for the state of business in our area, one positive development was the conversion of ‘The Bargain! Shop’ to ‘Red Apple’ over the summer.
The grand opening was held Aug. 27 and Falher councillor Sandy Primeau offered positive remarks.
“It’s nice to see the store supporting the community and reinvesting in the people,” she told the Express.
“It’s bright, cheerful and well laid out. It’s a fresh look for the community, too.”
So in our region, we can say that a business has elected to stay and is committed to providing even better product selection and service.
While I have to shop elsewhere for some products and services, I support locally as much as possible.
They are the backbone of our local and regional economy.
So kudos to all the businesses and services that operate locally and throughout the region. And if we can attract more businesses here with the help of Smoky River Regional Economic Development and government agencies, then all the better.
We cannot count on the NDP government to establish a positive environment for businesses come to the Peace Country. But we can pull together and build on what we have.