I was reading a book by Alexander McCall Smith wherein he captured the essence of “local” while describing Scottish clans and why a local identity is important. His eloquent words include:
Peterborough has a very strong love of all things local, from the historic, to the burgeoning entrepreneurial culture, to a strong downtown, and more. Where does it come from? Is the desire to localize more connected to humanity, to a desire to belong to something, to a feeling of supporting something or
someone you know?
Sure, I can order a pair of boots from my phone and have them sitting in a box on my porch tomorrow morning, but I’d rather try them on at a local shoe store, owned by someone I know, someone who supports my chamber, or my kids soccer team, and someone who knows a thing or two about boots.
Our strong entrepreneurial culture comes from a desire to not only create something local, but to support those who do. It’s a remarkable movement triggered and amplified by people who are relentlessly positive,
supportive and generous.
The Chamber has been using a catchy little hashtag #LoveLocalPtbo as a way of profiling local businesses. The United Way campaign this year gave it a handsome twist, asking people to show their “local love”.
The Chamber, the Innovation Cluster, PKED, WBN, Venture North, JA, DBIA, NCC, and other organizations are all providing programming and opportunities to nurture a love of local. The list of initiatives is endless:
a. The Business Excellence Awards
b. The Business Hall of Fame Awards
c. 100 Women Peterborough
d. The Business Woman of the Year and the Judy Heffernan Award
e. Win This Space, The Bears Lair/Cubs Lair, Ignite 100
f. Multiple breakfasts, lunches, dinners, networking events, workshops, round tables, seminars, webinars and more, all serving to help local people connect and succeed.
Most importantly, local people - thought leaders, influencers, entrepreneurs, young/old, female/male, new to the area or not, but all with a positive attitude - are creating a culture of “community” that supports all of the above.
As author Margaret J. Wheatley said, “There is no power for change greater than a community
discovering what it cares about."