Customers come first

Businesses in town depend on each other. If someone is unhappy at the grocery store they might take the trouble to drive to Bromont, Sutton or Cowansville to shop. Not that we are singling out the grocery store, just using it as an example.

When they travel farther afield, the shopper from the Town of Brome Lake might pick up a few other things in the neighbouring towns that they could have bought here. When one business is ignored, others suffer.

It can be a little thing, such as not accepting credit cards at the pump. There could be a reason for that, but some people might not like to go inside to pay where they have to line up behind people deciding which type of lottery ticket to buy. It is but a short drive to find fuel satisfaction.

Then there are opening hours. Some stores are open when others are closed. That too drives customers to nearby towns. The website of one local restaurant showed that it was open on a cold winter night. When diners arrived it was closed, even though the “Ouvert” light was on.

Perhaps the Chamber of Commerce can ask local stores and restaurants to co-ordinate their opening hours and concentrate on customer service.

The successful businesses in this town are the ones that provide a service to the people who live here. The Chamber of Commerce is quick to preach that we should Shop Local. Very good, but local businesses should also make sure local people are happy and want to shop close to home.