Last Friday was a showcase of volunteerism and holiday spirit as our community enjoyed a winter carnival in the park and moonlight madness – two events that together made a memorable evening for many families, including my own. The retail business participants were obvious; however less apparent business contributions provide equally critical support to this and other community initiatives.
The bustle of Christmas shoppers at the Cat’s Meow, the glow of neon open signs from businesses along 6th Avenue, Wallace Street, 3rd Avenue, and the rest of the downtown combined with the colourful lights of the Hope Towing hayride and the magnetic pull of the inflatable games in Memorial Park to announce the arrival of the Christmas shopping season in Hope.
After my own family’s shopping was done, and “the tinies” were relatively safe careening down the crazy carpet run in Memorial Park, I had the opportunity to speak with some of the businesses who contribute not only to these events but to many others. Tri-West Contracting and Talarico Excavating contributed staff time, equipment, and planning that made the snow hill a reality on Friday – and this isn’t the only event that these Hope-based companies sponsor in our community.
Hope Motor Sports Group boasts many corporate members including Tri-West Contracting (Jim Lasser), Talarico Excavating (James Talarico), Rusty Nuts Mechanical (Dusty Smith), Silver Skagit Heavy Duty (Wayne Smith), and Lordco Auto Parts (Scott Medlock).
Together, those companies contribute tens of thousands of dollars to events such as the Summer Smash, Show and Shine, and Brigade Days – events that in turn drive tens of thousands of dollars worth of consumer spending in our community.
The Group also contributes time, money, and resources to the Sixth Avenue Sports Bowl – a piece of community infrastructure used by many groups and events. That particular park will soon benefit from the Group’s perspicacious $45,000 investment in surplus no post guard rails from the Port Mann Bridge which will ensure the community grant for those upgrades will go even further – benefiting not only the motorsports events but the many other upgrades proposed for that key community facility. (You can go to www.hopecommunitypark.ca for more information on that project.)
Most of these companies are not often heard of in Hope, as they do their business out of town, or because they are tucked away far from the retail core. Their relative obscurity belies the fact they are key money importers, economic engines, and ambassadors for our community. Their out-of-town contracts bring profits back to local employees and suppliers, and their professional service to businesses and individuals throughout the Fraser Valley and beyond reflects on all of us.
As we celebrate the buy-local flavour of moonlight madness, the availability of evening shopping, and the hard work of our local retail outlets, it is important to remember that not all local businesses have store fronts and shiny consumer products destined for a prominent spot under the tree. Industrial services in construction, transportation, pipelines, and road building have a strong presence in our community providing needed jobs, services, and much more – lets ensure they also receive proper credit for what they do. A simple thank you will go a long way next time you see one of these owners, employees, or neighbours in the grocery line.
AdvantageHOPE salutes the contribution of all local businesses and looks forward to a successful and collaborative 2013.
Tyler Mattheis is executive director of AdvantageHOPE, Hope’s economic development agency. He can be reached at 604-860-0930 or firstname.lastname@example.org.