The strength of an autarkic community
If you’re not familiar with the term autarky it means to be self-sufficient, and for a community such as the BCP it’s a great proposition and goal to work towards.
When we talk about self-sufficiency, what we mean is economic stability and sustainability that we as a community control. There are inherent dangers for any community that relies on economic security from outside parties.
One of the largest, if not the largest, sources of revenue for the BCP is tourism, and when the weather is good it’s great. However, the biggest problem with a reliance on tourism is that we have no control over it.
There are a number of factors that can cause a downturn, from bad weather, to national or global economic depressions and sadly of course pandemics. We cannot control any of these possibilities, so we have very high risk when it comes to our revenue as a community.
A strong local economy
Having a strong local economy is crucial to being in control of our economic stability. We’re talking about local businesses that provide products and services to local residents as the mainstay of their operations. If they provide products and services to tourists as well all the better.
Local businesses suffer from a number of difficulties that are not unique to our area. They often have a small workforce and very tight marketing budgets. This can severely restrict their ability to reach their target market, even when they only live next door!
An online platform designed only for the local community is needed to make it easier for local businesses and organisations to find local customers and vice versa. It should not be designed to replace global online platforms, but accentuate them.
Reducing costs for businesses and individuals
One of the easiest ways to increase the chances of survival for local businesses is to help them reduce their costs, making their tight budgets stretch that much further.
Once again we talk about the local only online platform. It should provide services that match global competitors, but at cut-price rates. Reducing the running costs of local businesses allows them to be more agile and flexible when dealing with ever-changing economic and social trends.
It’s the same for local residents. Cost of living only ever goes up, and if salaries don’t match the rise it can be catastrophic. Residents need their income to stretch further just as businesses do. Reducing running costs of businesses can have a knock-on effect in terms of the pricing of their products and services to local residents.
Developing missing industries
There are clear opportunities to support the creation of missing industries within the community. These industries can offer residents more variety in terms of employment opportunities, they can attract bright new talent that otherwise would never consider moving to and working in our community.
The biggest benefit is that employment in a lot of these industries has the ability and opportunity to increase the average income of residents in the community. We know that as a community the BCP has a high proportion of workers in the hospitality and care industries, which are two of the lowest paying industries out there.
Creating these missing industries, or supporting the growth and development of the current micro-industries in these sectors is crucial. Putting all of our eggs into one basket has and always will be a bad idea. Diversification is the key to success.
Becoming a factory
We’re not talking about heavy industry or manufacturing here, we’re talking about content! If we take a look at how China succeeded in being a modern world power it was by being the world’s manufacturing go-to. We can take this model and adapt it to fit a different industry, which is content.
We’re talking about music, art, film, dance, literature, marketing, technology, architecture etc. Supporting and encouraging the growth and success of these local micro-industries on a national and global scale is crucial. It creates a perspective from other communities that the BCP is the go-to place to get hold of quality content. Local businesses and brands will see new opportunities open for them just by being located here.
Where does tourism fit in?
This article could be construed as attacking tourism, and that’s not our intention. We love tourism and it provides vital benefits to our community as a whole. We want to leave you with this analogy:
If we consider the revenue of the entire BCP community as a lovely chocolate cake let’s ask ourselves this question. Do we really want the highly volatile tourism industry to be the cake, or should we see it more as just the icing on top?