Question: When is a local newspaper no longer truly a local paper?
Answer: When it undermines local businesses and the community by selling out the entire font page to a Walmart ad.
As advertisers and long-time readers, we recognize the challenges faced by newspapers across the country. But to assault our local business communities across the province with an ad that promises to “match the advertised price of any competitor” is inexcusable and an insult to the small businesses that line our streets. As a community, we want to encourage people to shop local. We need to keep our supermarkets, our hardware stores, our specialized service-oriented retail stores, our cafes, restaurants, and professional services. And we need to keep them vibrant and profitable to ensure the sustainability and vitality of our community.
To quote a recent research report, “The Walmart effect usually manifests itself by forcing smaller retail firms out of business and reducing wages for competitors’ employees.”
Is that really what the decision-makers at Black Press and the PNR want? With limited dollars to go ‘round, as small businesses we must decide how best to market our goods and services just as you need to increase revenue to stay in business. Surely there are ways of working together to our mutual benefit. We firmly believe the pen is mightier than the sword, and the bucks of big box stores, and urge you and Black Press to consider seeking us out to explore more innovative revenue strategies to enable you and our local business community to thrive.
Erin Middlebrooks, Pitt & Hobbs, Sidney
Janet Thompson, Janet’s Special Teas, Sidney
Keith Davies, Frame One, North Saanich
Lori and Stu Leslie, Sidney Cleaners, Sidney
Muffet Billyard-Leake, Muffet and Louisa, Sidney
Richard Julien, President, Community Arts Council of the Saanich Peninsula
Sandy Oliver, Star Cinema, Sidney
Steve Duck, TIDES — The Island’s Destination & Event Service, Sidney
Susan Simosko, Susan Simosko Associates Inc., Sidney