I spent the first year of University on Campus. I rarely left to go anywhere other than class. In the years since I have learned that this really slowed the process of becoming familiar with a city as vibrant as Peterborough. I am initially from Ottawa and was unsure how I would fit into the small metropolis of Peterborough, if you can call it that.
I started visiting local businesses here and there in my second and third years while living just outside the heart of Downtown. I would go to a coffee shop here and a restaurant there, but still spent a lot of time at home.
In the beginning of my fourth year I helped make a map of Downtown to try to encourage students to go downtown and see what it is all about. Throughout the process of making this map, I was beyond convinced that Peterborough is a much more powerful and supportive business centre than I ever would have thought. The support that these businesses showed me when they knew I was a student was astounding. Being a University student and asking for businesses to sponsor you to put their logo on a map and give it to students is a daunting task. If it weren’t for the amazing business owners of Peterborough businesses, this endeavor never would have gotten off the ground.
From another angle, these businesses are very supportive of causes that are not primarily related to promoting their business. I have spoken to these owners on various occasions since making the map. I sometimes spoke to them as a student, sometimes as a Trent Business Student Association (TBSA) Vice President, and sometimes just someone who is looking for lunch. I have had nothing but good experiences dealing with these business owners and they have always helped me out when I was looking for it. I am not saying that if you go speak with a business owner they will give you money, but what I am saying is that getting to know someone on a personal level while they are making your coffee or showing you around their store goes a long way.
Dylan Hunt – Trent University Graduate