Chambers share success

In recent weeks we have published numerous photos from various Chambers of Commerce and business groups around Wellington County as they help local businesses celebrate their successes.

Poring over the many shots sent in for consideration, we took special note of the businesses that were honoured for longevity. In Centre Wellington, one category at the awards night included those businesses that have served this area for over 25 years.

We recognized each winner and were happy to see the many names of businesses and owners we have done business with get acknowledged in such a public way.

At Minto’s award night Ron Leslie received a lifetime achievement award. Leslie has served his community well since 1966, through the Leslie Motors business his family still operates, a stint as Mayor of Harriston and as a very active member of Kinsmen and K-40 clubs. Like most businesspeople, he will have helped out in numerous other ways, making Harriston a stronger, more prosperous community.

While there are many excellent stories coming out of these Chamber gatherings, we made a point of mentioning Leslie because he embodies the qualities most communities want,  and need frankly, with business leaders.

There is no denying local business people march to their own beat.

Many of them make choices that a corporate type would not. When someone asks for a hand, local business personalities tend to jump in, while corporate people might be just as happy to state their policies don’t allow them to donate money or time.

We would hazard to guess the actual hand-ups issued by small business owners outnumber best guesses any of us might have. Many prefer to keep their good deeds a private matter, shunning the blatant publicity sought by big-shots that land in town for a few years, only to head off somewhere else.

Intuitively-dedicated local business people seem to understand the give and take of small town and rural Ontario. The little deals or assistance given when needed make a difference in the lives of neighbours and family. Those good deeds are often rewarded with loyalty that lasts generations. It may cost a smidge more to deal locally – and we say “may” – since driving and time have a price. A healthy business community lends itself to a strong overall community.

That probably explains why some non-profit groups and citizens of the year awards factor in with annual Chamber awards nights. Business people understand that kudos for others is just part of sharing the communities we are all proud to live in.

Take the Elora Community Theatre being recognized for 40 years of service, or how about John Benham of Rockwood receiving the President’s Award for his lifetime of service in the agricultural and environmental stewardship sector.

We hope a moment will be shared by readers with the many deserving nominees and recipients to thank them for being an important part of their community.

Thanks means a lot.