A letter written to the Editor of the Telegram on January 9th, by downtown St. John’s business owner, Bob Hallett, was more than a thoughtful message about a group frequently taken for granted.
It was a reminder that commerce, however small, is serious business; that fiscal prudence, in an economy in which government is the largest player, is at great risk especially when there is, according City Councillor, Art Puddester, “a vacuum of leadership”.
At the provincial level this is an all too familiar theme. In recent years, fiscal drunkenness has reduced the travails of entrepreneurship to the mantra: “I believe in Newfoundland and Labrador”. Except, in the real world, this is the empty bravado of ‘cheerleaders’. And it doesn’t pay the bills.
Bob Hallett spoke of many challenges, stating “…we persist — because we love this city, and the old downtown, and we believe in it”.