Let’s have some fun with this!

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Dispatches from the 148 by Fred Ryan


Dispatches from the 148 by Fred Ryan

The Pontiac Journal’s “Readers’ Choice Awards” has been launched for Year Two. After last year’s first edition of the poll, and its success, both entrepreneurs and shoppers have now started sending in their choices for the 2014          edition. This is the opportunity for all Pontiac              residents to make their shopping preferences public. It’s an ideal way to tell others of great services and shops right here at home – and the way to tell our own businesspeople they’ve been doing a good job.
The Readers’ Choice Awards are one of the strongest advertising       venues for Pontiac businesses – who wouldn’t want to be able to promote their business as “The public says we’re Number One!.” These awards are one of our best tools to encourage our neighbours to shop at home first, before driving out of the Pontiac with their cash.
We ourselves are the people who will or will not help our future expand. This is the future of our kids and grandkids, the future of our towns, and, indirectly, of our schools and churches, health services – everything depends on our economy. We can do this. We can support our own economy, we can stick with the businesses who have survived  because they are focused on our needs, and we can support those who are launching new businesses – again, to benefit us. Where we spend our household dollars is the most important thing. The Readers’ Choice Awards are part of this process.
This year the Pontiac Chamber of Commerce has its own awards program, at about the same time. In particular, both are asking the public to nominate businesses which offer exceptional customer service, among other award categories. There’s no competition between both surveys – they re-enforce each other, stressing how important customer service is in keeping shoppers here at home. 
With the Journal, the Chamber recognizes Pontiac residents spend an immense amount of money every year – for food and household items, automotive, home repair, clothes, all sorts of supplies, entertainment – you name it! Statistics Canada estimates these expenditures to be in the millions of dollars, taken together. If Pontiac is sending these millions of shopping dollars outside our region, how can we expect to grow, or even to maintain the good services we do have at home? Our spending is our tool.
The Reader’s Choice Awards measures the response of shoppers across the Pontiac, from Chapeau to Luskville, Fort Coulonge to Otter Lake, and Shawville to Portage du Fort.  This is a sort of straw poll, not a scientific survey, but one which is focused on the actual shopping habits of the Journals’ 20,000-plus readers.
This is the voice of real people shopping with real budgets.
The survey is more accurate the more people who respond. Everyone can go online to the Journal’s website (journalpontiac.com) and mark their favourites – or cut the poll out of the Journal and mail it in, or drop it off. Easy and quick! The list of categories has been tuned up to reflect the interests of local shoppers, so the business categories differ each year. Please   suggest new categories.
The Journal’s professional staff encourages all residents to enter their choices – and encourages all businesses to “get the vote out” – have your      supporters (and employees) make their voice count. Win-win-win is the name of this game! So, play it to win! The Pontiac’s 2014 poll is on!