Assessing the future of Charleswood
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 09/03/2022 (450 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
As a community correspondent for Charleswood, I’ve been writing a column for The Metro (now Free Press Community Review West) for the past five or six years. I started doing some freelance writing after I retired and The Metro was one of the assignments I landed. During that time, I have written about a range of issues and events about and surrounding the Charleswood community. But the majority of topics have involved Charleswood’s past. For instance, I often covered the Charleswood Historical Society’s presentations, writing articles about how Charleswood came to be the community it is today, highlighting many of the leaders who have contributed to its development.
While I have enjoyed sharing with readers what I have learned about the history of Charleswood, I have started to wonder if I should be looking for more opportunities to write about Charleswood’s future. In particular, the future of the business community.
During the 33 years I have lived in Charleswood, I have seen some closures, changes of ownership and a few new businesses. But I can’t say I have seen a lot of growth. Maybe I’m not in the know or perhaps that’s normal for suburban businesses — but does it have to be? Shouldn’t those who have to courage to start a business in our community be able to find a path to sustainability?
Some support systems are available for businesses. For example, Myrna Driedger, MLA for Charleswood, sends regular emails to community leaders advising them about events, updates and opportunities that affect the business community and the community at large. There is also an established network that provides supports to businesses in the city’s western communities. The Assiniboia Chamber of Commerce acts as a guide for business owners to access information and resources and also provides networking opportunities. According to its website, 4,000 businesses in the western part of the city are taking advantage of this organization. Those who haven’t made that connection yet may want to think about doing so in the near future.
A healthy economic base is the backbone of a community. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has had a crippling effect. While the past two years have been extremely difficult for most businesses, many have found a way to maintain their operations. As the economy opens up, as it is predicted to do, and hopefully the pandemic subsides, the time is right to look to the future.
Looking ahead doesn’t mean we forget our past, it just means making plans to ensure there will be a future. One where business that start up in charleswood are able to grow, thrive and stay in our community.
Readers who would like to share ideas on how to support businesses in our community can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Charleswood community correspondent
Donna Minkus is a community correspondent for Charleswood.