EDITORIAL: Don’t dismiss value of big business
WHEN it comes to keeping regional communities afloat, don’t dismiss the importance of big business.
Our poll and Facebook discussion asking readers for their thoughts on which big business they’d like to see come to town was mostly a bit of fun.
It did, however, start a very serious discussion about whether enticing big players to the region came at the expense of smaller, local vendors.
This tension is understandable – there are plenty of examples of mega corporations moving in and wiping out the comparatively tiny competition.
It doesn’t have to be this way, though, and big business has its place in a thriving and evolving regional community like ours.
Massive retailers like Costco and Ikea may have no immediate plans to move in but if they do, don’t write them off.
Apart from the obvious benefit of job creation that no one else in town could possibly match, these behemoths have plenty to offer.
The idea they don’t offer the same community support as the smaller players doesn’t hold much water.
Bunnings is famous for its sausage sizzles but it seems we sometimes forget who is manning the barbecue.
It’s volunteers from community clubs, given an unrivalled platform and customer based to raise much-needed funds.
Supermarket giants may not have their logos on the back of football jerseys every week but their efforts to donate a portion of profits to community efforts deserve to be acknowledged.
Of course, there is always the risk a big player will prove too much for a local business to compete with but we can’t really hold the corporate giant responsible for that.
It’s up to us, the customers, to support the businesses we want to see survive.
We never want to lose the colour, vibrancy and community spirit our shopfronts provide.
Don’t shun the retail giants – get out there and support the little guys.