Today we bid adieu to #businessbuzz. Unfortunately, the management team at The Brandon Sun had to make some difficult decisions for the upcoming year and as such the column that I’ve been writing since April 12, 2014, for the Saturday edition of The Brandon Sun will no longer exist. The Sun has decided to go in a different direction for the Saturday business page.
I remember when former Sun editor James O’Connor and I first met to discuss the column. My only trepidation was whether I would be able to come up with enough content for a weekly column. That fear quickly diminished.
There is always, always something happening in the Brandon business world. It’s actually amazing how much the landscape does change —new businesses take flight, longtime businesses close, management changes, names change, new products and services are introduced, businesses move, they expand and they proudly celebrate milestone anniversaries and events.
I consistently had a well-populated list of businesses that I intended to mention or highlight at some point in time. Looking back this week, I realized that there were still so many that I never got a chance to write about. Stories such as …
• discovering what C.R.E.A.M. Clothing, a relatively new store on 10th Street, is all about and what market they cater to;
• highlighting the fact that Cam and Colleen Wirch, owners of A&L, took
over longtime business Clemmensen’s Movies and More and renamed the convenience store to the Shop on the Corner at 2340 Rosser Ave.;
• introducing you to Rob Mulligan and his new company, Mulligan’s Electric Ltd.;
• telling you about the renovations at Mobile One Marine at 640 14th St. East;
• highlighting On the Run Mobile Oil Change, a new business started by the young and ambitious Blair McDonald;
• finding out what services Pathway Rehabilitation offers at 3300 Victoria Ave. (Sunset Mall); and
• sharing the history of J&G Homes (60 years), Brandon Business Interiors (25 years) and The Paw Resort & Wellness Centre (five years) as they reached their milestone anniversaries in 2016.
For the last three years, there isn’t a street that I haven’t driven down where I don’t strain my neck to look for new signs, signs that have been removed or vacant buildings that appear to be under renovation for a new tenant.
As I looked back, I discovered that I wrote 125 editions of #businessbuzz and I highlighted more than 275 businesses; it was a pleasure to work with all of them.
So many owners and managers gave me a small glimpse into their business lives and taught me bits and pieces along the way, which have been so valuable as a freelance writer and marketing consultant.
I mentioned in last week’s column that the one thing that stands out the most for me is that almost every single business owner that I’ve spoken with is brimming with pride. In addition to being proud of their accomplishments, I also think that local entrepreneurs are brave, determined and optimistic. Because of this motivation and determination to make "a go of it" in the business world, we owe them a lot.
We owe them for providing us with the products and services that they carry (we don’t have to jump in our vehicles and drive to another city or pay shipping charges to order online — we can get it right here at home). We owe them for treating us with respect and providing us with real, genuine customer service. We owe them for creating jobs, and we owe them for donating to local sports teams, the arts community, food banks, health-related organizations and to all other events and all organizations (charitable or not) that ask for a little extra help.
Thanking them is easy. You just need to make a conscious effort to support them; pay it forward by shopping local.
I am grateful that I will still be connected to all the good folks at The Brandon Sun through special projects, but I will miss the ongoing, regular connections with local businesses and I will miss sharing their stories with you.
I have been blessed with a faithful following of readers and for this I am also grateful. I appreciate the story ideas that you shared with me as well as the accolades that you took the time to deliver. Thank you.
I sign off with sincere wishes to you for a beautiful Christmas that you lovingly share with family and friends. May you be blessed with good health, love and laughter.
Cheers to a sparkly new year!