Integral Role

With the arrival of Wal-Mart here earlier this year, and the opening tomorrow of a new and greatly expanded Canadian Tire along with a Mark’s Work Wearhouse outlet, one can understand if there are not a lot of people in the mood to celebrate Small Business Week.
But while there’s no question local small- and medium-sized businesses do face challenges these days, with some already succumbing to the competition from the so-called “big box” stores, there’s no reason to throw in the towel, either.
The truth is, there are countless businesses across Rainy River District that are not only surviving, but thriving. And many of those will be in the spotlight here Saturday night when the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce hosts its annual awards banquet.
The Chamber received well over 50 nominations this year in categories such as Business of the Year, Employee of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, and Volunteer of the Year. Other businesses are being honoured for their commitment to customer service and safety, and still others to worker training.
All the nominees deserve hearty congratulations for their hard work and contribution to the vibrancy of our communities over the past year. Keep up the great work.
We must never lose sight of the integral role small- and medium-sized businesses play in the economic well-being of Rainy River District, in terms of the goods and services they offer to both residents and visitors, the jobs they create, the taxes they pay, and the donations they make to various community groups, events, and causes.
That’s something to salute all year long, not just for one week.