A Langley Resident for the past 10 years, I have seen larger and substantial corporations establishing their presence here.
The tug between commercial development and the maintaining of quiet town-life has been evident. The Trinity Western University district development and the building of the Coulter Berry Building in Fort Langley are a few examples.
Having grown up in a large city, I have no objections to development and the need for growth. However, I also believe we need to proceed with care as a community.
Part of the reason I first moved to Langley was for the quiet and tranquil life of a close-knit town. Maintaining that while allowing growth is fully possible, and one of the very first steps is not to overlook the importance of small businesses, as North Vancouver-Londsdale MLA and Minister of State for Small Business Naomi Yamamoto mentioned. Her message at the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce [HST loss 'unfortunate', Nov. 22, Langley Advance] mentioned small businesses make up an astounding 98 per cent of businesses in B.C.
Small businesses are often like small families, and their long-term presence in a community further promotes heartfelt memories for visitors and residents.
Wendels Bookstore and Café in Fort Langley is a terrific example. The iconic coffee shop with the attached bookstore has been a memory-builder for a lot of friends, first dates, and families. I, for one, had a memorable date there. We need to create more Wendel-like places, and one of the main ways to achieve that is to maintain their existence.
I hope residents will shop locally for Christmas, support our small businesses, and keep our family traditions alive.
Grace Joyce Fong, Walnut Grove