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Why we need more family-friendly businesses in our communities

Posted: Monday, April 17, 2023. 10:28 am CST.

The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.

By Charles Leslie | Former Chairperson of Placencia: Bars have been a staple of social life for centuries, offering a place for adults to relax, socialize, and unwind after a long day. However, in recent years, bars have become more and more the institutions of local communities, with many people turning to them as their primary source of entertainment and social interaction. This trend towards bar-centric socialization is alarming, as it can lead to social decay, decadence, and degeneracy.

One of the biggest issues with bars as the primary social hub of a community is the prevalence of alcohol. Alcohol consumption can lead to a range of social problems, including impaired judgment, reckless behavior, and violence. In addition, excessive drinking can lead to long-term health problems and addiction, which can have a devastating impact on individuals and families.

Another problem with bars as the primary social hub is the lack of diversity in social interaction. When people only socialize at bars, they are limiting their social interactions to a narrow demographic of people who enjoy drinking and partying. This can lead to an insular community that is resistant to change and new ideas, which can hinder the growth and development of the community.

In contrast, family-friendly businesses and spaces offer a more wholesome and inclusive environment for social interaction. These spaces provide a safe and more welcoming atmosphere for people of all ages, backgrounds, and interests. Families can spend time together without the negative influence of alcohol and other vices, and people of all ages can socialize and interact with each other in a healthy and positive way.

Example: Spanish Lookout’s economic and social model.

In addition, family-friendly businesses and spaces can contribute to the economic growth and development of a community. These businesses can attract families and tourists, creating jobs and boosting the local economy. They can also provide a sense of community pride and identity, as people come together to support local businesses and create spaces that are safe and welcoming for everyone.

While bars have a place in our social landscape, they should not be the primary institution of local communities.

In addition to promoting more family-friendly businesses and spaces, it is also important for communities to have a say in the issuance of liquor licenses. When bars and other alcohol-serving establishments are located in residential neighborhoods, it can have a significant impact on the community, including increased noise, traffic, and safety concerns.

By allowing communities to have a say in the issuance of liquor licenses, it provides a way for residents to voice their concerns and have a say in the type of businesses that are allowed to operate in their neighborhood. This can help to ensure that the needs and desires of the community are taken into consideration and that businesses are operating in a way that is safe and responsible.

Furthermore, involving the community in the liquor license process can promote greater transparency and accountability. When businesses know that they must answer to the concerns of the community, they are more likely to operate in a way that is respectful and responsible, rather than simply focused on profit.

By working together to promote family-friendly businesses and spaces, and involving the community in the licensing process, we can create stronger, more inclusive communities that are safe and welcoming for everyone.

PS: I applaud the businesses that are actively investing in becoming more family-friendly.


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