A recent study, prepared by B.C. Stats, shows what many Summerlanders have known for years: This is a good place in which to live.
The study examined several socio-economic factors and placed Summerland in second place out of nearly 80 B.C. communities, just behind West Vancouver.
Factors including health, education and the crime rate were examined.
Put simply, when it comes to quality of life, Summerland excels.
We do not have the problems of poverty, crime, health problems and education concerns to the same degree as in some other B.C. communities.
While the figures are impressive, it is important to remember that this report does not tell the full story.
The report examines each community’s rankings, but not the reasons why a specific community has done well or poorly.
Also, while the factors which enhance the quality of life in Summerland are good, our economy does not show the same strength.
Many businesses, especially in the downtown area, face ongoing struggles. Some have closed their doors.
Housing is expensive and jobs are scarce.
Without a robust business sector and the revenue it generates, Summerland will have an increasingly difficult time keeping up with the costs of maintaining the community. Eventually, unless the economy improves, it will take a toll on the quality of life factors.
Summerland’s ranking in this study can work effectively to help market the community.
Efforts are already being made to use lifestyle as a way to attract individuals and businesses to Summerland.
At the same time, a stronger economy is needed if Summerland is to have a good quality of life in the years to come.