The ebb and flow of business in our downtown hit freshet levels this week with the announcement that the Kootenay Co-op will be taking its grocery business to the other end of Baker Street.
During lean economic times, it’s always exciting to see a business expand. It’s a sign of a healthy bottom line created by great service and local support. The fact the Co-op is a locally grown success story made the Wednesday front page story even that much more positive.
Today’s front page story is not as encouraging. Every action has a reaction and in this case the Co-op’s big news is coupled with the fact that Extra Foods will be closing. A total of 40 full and part-time employees will eventually be without a steady paycheque. Lives have been changed and difficult times are on the horizon.
Though tough to swallow, it’s nothing new. There is a constant shuffle of storefront shingles and employees in our downtown. We can only hope that those who are impacted by the closure are absorbed into the local workforce elsewhere. It’s very possible, as the Co-op itself will be expanding its workforce once the move is made.
With enhanced parking and room to grow, the future for the Co-op looks brighter than ever. Its success is our community’s success, that’s the way it generally works with the co-op movement.
When the renovations to its new building are finally complete and the Co-op moves from its location in the 200 block of Baker Street to the 700 block of Vernon Street, it will change the flow of the downtown. At first it might feel a little strange, but it won’t take long for locals to settle into the change. The freshet will slow and the steady stream of business in that end of the downtown will be something we can all appreciate.