Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Economic Times Create Challenges for Local Business Community

As a member of both the residential and business communities of Tredyffrin, if elected to the Board of Supervisors I plan to build upon this balanced relationship and be a bridge between them. I fully understand the affect that our country’s current economic situation has cast on small businesses such as mine, the Great Valley House, a historic bed and breakfast. Having enjoyed an interesting way of life as an innkeeper and small business owner for 25 years, I have also witnessed first hand the downturn in our nation’s economy and its effect on my business. Back in the 1980’s, I did postgraduate work at London School of Economics, after completing a Master’s degree in Public Administration from CalState-Fullerton. My thesis work at LSE included a “Comparative Analysis of Job Satisfaction in the Workplace between the United States and Britain”. The British government was particularly interested in this analysis as the two nations were very comparable in their ‘double-digit’ unemployment rate and the resulting downsizing in the workplace. My work became ‘dated’ in its theories as the US began to turn around and regain a degree of healthiness. Britain on the other hand, was far slower in its recovery and as a result the similarities between the two countries lessened during the next decade.

Fast forward 25 years, and you find that 2008 ushered in a similar era of economic downturn, massive corporate layoffs and high unemployment rates which is effecting Tredyffrin Township as it is across Pennsylvania and the nation. It is interesting to view this situation through the eyes of a small business owner but likewise I understand the economic woes and downsizing challenges facing large corporations. My husband has been employed by Unisys for 30 years, a major township employer. Like so many other technology firms, Unisys has endured falling share prices, lowered profit margins and the impact of our nation’s economic crisis.

I would like to look at various ways our township government may be able to assist and encourage our local businesses. Perhaps a review of township contracts to utilize the services of our local business community whenever possible. By keeping the flow of business “in the neighborhood,” everyone can play a vital role in regenerating the economic growth of Tredyffrin. I would like to see our community come out of the “survival” and in to the “growth” mode, ready to focus on the future again. The ripple effect will benefit the township and beyond. Supporting the business community of Tredyffrin Township supports everyone! Serving as a board member of the Paoli Business & Professional Association allows me the opportunity to understand the ongoing need for revitalization and encouragement of our township business community.

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