Thursday, March 9, 2017

Councillor Mirau offers salute to Chamber of Commerce Awards

The last few minutes of any Council meeting are normally given over to the city's six councillors, who can weigh in with thoughts on issues, concerns or in the case of Councillor Blair Mirau a shout out to a local group.

Monday, Mr. Mirau, took a few moments to share some remembrances of Saturday night's Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards gala, an event which he and the mayor were in attendance at.

His short review offered up some thoughts on the inspiring messages that were delivered by the members of the business community, whether they were long standing business members or some of the new entrepreneurs to be found in the community.

In his comments the Councillor, who is one of the strongest advocates of the business community on Council took time to congratulate the winners and nominees and observed how people were calling the night the Oscars of Prince Rupert.

Among his notes for Council one of the key messages that he took home from the night included a call for the city's residents to take note of how the times are changing in the community:

"For some of the people that like to say I'll believe when I see it, the time has come to stop saying that because there is so much going on in Prince Rupert. The people are just kind of sleeping on some of the fantastic things that are happening behind the scenes, so that's the message I want to get out there. 

We need to move past the point of saying I'll believe when I see it, because times have started to change, things are looking up, people are optimistic and it's a really exciting time to be in business in Prince Rupert"

And while Mr. Mirau didn't share some of those exciting behind the scenes things that he says are happening, for those that aren't privy to those developments, or don't share the same social circle as the Councillor, the evidence of a resurgence of the commercial sector might be a little harder to find at the moment.

In fact, as recently as a few weeks ago at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon, a somewhat different perspective of the city's once thriving downtown core was presented.

As part of his presentation to the Chamber, Tourism Prince Rupert's Scott Farwell called attention to the growing number of abandoned buildings in disrepair in the community, noting that for many visitors the large number of boarded up building makes for a sign to turn around and go in a different direction.

A quick glimpse of some of those visuals that Mr. Farwell had made note of can be found here.

Saturday night's celebration of business was clearly the social event of the season for many in the community, and it did provide a chance to salute the commercial sector in the region and their achievements of the year just past.

However, while a positive message is always welcome, it does seem that there is still some work ahead to not only rebuild the city's commercial core, but to share the news of those new entrepreneur and what they have to offer.

As well, the city needs to develop a more welcoming approach to attract new merchants, including the large chain stores that residents have on their wish list for the region.

Something that might help to keep some of Prince Rupert's spending money at home and start to create some real belief that the times are indeed taking a turn for the better.

All of which might make for a good working project for Councillor Mirau's new Business Advisory committee recently announced at City Council to weigh in on once they start holding their consultation sessions.

You can review the Councillor's review of Awards night from the City's Video Archive starting at the  48 minute mark.

For more items related to the city's Commercial sector see our archive page here.

A look at the rest of Monday's Council session can be reviewed from our Council Timeline feature.

Further items from City Council can be found on our Council Discussion page.

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