I Voted (2019)

I won’t say who I voted for, but I will say why I voted the way that I did.

Yes, I voted. Now, I won’t say who I voted for because I try not to endorse anyone publicly. I feel as a business owner, I risk alienating customers if I do. However, I will say why I voted the way I did.

Of the three candidates running for City Council in my ward, only one took the time to come in to my business and talk to me (yes I live and work in the same ward). He was walking by and saw a friend outside my place. He decided to come in to get a coffee. I usually make small talk with customers, especially new ones.

It turned out we had several mutual friends in town. As the conversation progressed, he told me he was running for City Council and asked what the City could do to help small businesses. And for the next two hours, he sat and listened to me rant.

And oh boy can I rant . . .

Oh sure the other two guys did a fine job of stuffing my mailbox with oversized flyers every day for weeks, but not once did either of them take the time to stop in and ask how they could help if elected. And there in lies a big problem for small businesses.

To go back to the question of what could the city do to help, my immediate reply was, “What have they done so far?”

So, a word of advice for anyone running for office; Go meet business owners in your area. Learn what they need. Find out why so many businesses are leaving town year after year. What are you afraid of? Or are you truly only concerned with chain stores and high-end real estate development.

If history can teach us anything, it’s that neither of these things will help create a sustained growth. Yes, they play a part, but it’s small businesses that drive a local economy, attract tourists, employ residents, and become threads that hold together the fabric of a larger community.

So to all those who ran in all wards; If you won, go see the people. If you lost, go see the people. Find out why. Find out what you can do now to help move forward.


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