Business group seeks common ground

Grant money covering research into unified marketing arm for Sidney

The expression, ‘when times get tough, the tough get going’ may work for some people.

The Sidney Business Development Group, formed to look into the creation of a unified marketing voice for business in the seaside town, hopes to strengthen that old chestnut by getting as many people as possible on the same page.

“Businesses in town are struggling a bit with the economy,” said Steve Duck, project manager for the group.

“We just wanted to create some awareness that we need to move ahead. At the same time, going forward we want to make sure we know what people want. And what does that look like?”

Aware of the splintering of promotional efforts, with the Sidney Business Association, Sidney Merchants’ Co-Op and Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce each providing their own version of marketing, Duck has been canvassing the Sidney business community to gauge interest in streamlining things.

The group was given a $18,500 grant by Sidney council this year to look at options for creating a focused marketing arm. The end goal is to have an organization that better helps Sidney compete in a regional market where the Uptown development in Saanich and big box store-friendly Langford are drawing customers from around the region, including the Peninsula.

“There’s a sense of urgency to that,” Duck said. “Many business owners will tell you that Sidney is about three years behind.

“I don’t think in the past that enough has been done to say ‘Sidney is open for business.’ If you don’t keep shouting out what you’re doing, then no one is going to hear you. Everybody succeeds if everybody takes part.”

Besides Duck, who also monitors results of an online business marketing survey, the group is made up of volunteer businesspeople. They meet every other week to discuss the feedback being received and will host public open houses, Oct. 23 and 24 at the Mary Winspear Centre and the Sidney Pier Hotel, respectively, to further hear ideas on moving forward with the unification concept.

Business owners and managers are also encouraged to complete an online survey (at SidneyBiz.com) by Sept. 19 to add to the information flow.

A Victoria-based consultant – the hiring of which Duck expects will eat up most of the grant money –  is also researching what other communities are doing to promote business and what has worked well.

“By the time we get to the feasibility study and present it to council, the due diligence will have been done to find out what a ‘made in Sidney’ model looks like,” Duck said.

Sidney Mayor Larry Cross, who last January challenged the business community to come up with a idea to unify its marketing efforts, is optimistic that a workable solution will emerge when the Sidney Business Development Group presents its report in November.

“It’s a work in progress,” he said.

“I’m hopeful that we’ll arrive at a place where the merchants are comfortable with the organization, whatever it is, and flowing it into the business community.”

For more information on the Sidney Business Development Group, or to offer feedback on the project, visit SidneyBiz.com or call Steve Duck at 250-891-6599.

 

Just Posted

Saanich councillor fears weed could crowd out food as greenhouses convert

Head of provincial association representing greenhouse vegetable farmers not worried about issue

Langford veteran rehab program takes multi-tiered approach to treating pain

Clinic ‘bio-psycho-social approach to healing’ from Victoria to the West Shore earlier this year

Experience automotive classics and more at the Vancouver Island Concours d’Elegance

Motorcar Weekend features Show and Shine, high-end Concours division, all for a great cause

Taking risks: Victoria theatre expert and author gains traction for his new model of tragedy

Edwin Wong releases Risk Theatre book, hosts successful global playwriting competition

Sunny skies ahead for Tuesday

Plus a look ahead at your week

B.C. seizes 1.5M grams contraband tobacco, down from 5.75M grams the year prior

The 2019-2020 seizures were a sharp drop compared to the 2018-2019 year,

B.C. Speaker tight-lipped about aide’s legislature security tour

B.C. Liberals question Alan Mullen’s drive across Canada, U.S.

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Police seek tips in 2015 death of Island teen Brown

Four years has passed since the body of Penelakut Island woman was discovered

Most Read