Chamber moves on economic development

Group looks to Peninsula municipalities for data collection

Health of business on the Saanich Peninsula is behind a chamber of commerce joint effort with the District of Central Saanich starting up this spring.

The Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce is taking up a meeting with two Central Saanich municipal councillors to talk about economic development in that community. Ian Brown, president of the chamber, says it’s an opening to explore the issue throughout the entire Peninsula.

“Councillor Ryan Windsor raised the idea to set up an economic development group,” Brown said. “And we will be meeting with them.”

Brown said in recent years, a lot of information has been bandied about on local issues such as workforce housing, a need for more doctors and matters relating to the local economy. What is needed, he continued, is data.

“Communities have talked to us in anecdotes, observations and have reacted with interventions,” Brown said. “We have to start thinking about … solid information on which to base decisions.”

An economic development partnership is one place to start collecting that data, he said. Once the chamber meets with Central Saanich, Brown said his hope is they can do the same in Sidney and North Saanich.

“There needs to be a solid assessment of what’s out there and what’s needed.”

The outcome Brown said he’s after includes a core of information that all parties can use to discuss regional issues. That is where decision-making needs to start, he added.

This level of cooperation with local municipalities comes as the chamber creates closer ties with the Sidney Business Improvement Association (SBIA). The SBIA’s new executive director — and part events coordinator with the Town of Sidney — will be based out of the chamber-run Visitor Centre on Beacon Avenue. The chamber had asked the Town for permission to move into the building themselves, but Brown said it wasn’t going to be big enough.

That proposed move came during a period of uncertainty for the chamber. Brown said that came up as the chamber looked to save money in the wake of diminishing memberships and financial trouble. Brown said the chamber lost members when the SBIA came into being last year. Numbers have rebounded a bit, he said, but admitted the chamber has had some challenges.

They lost their last executive director last year and have decided not to replace the position. By using the remaining office staff and volunteer time from board members, Brown said the chamber has saved money. They are also no longer operating the Pat Bay Highway visitor centre.

“We are trying to be responsible, financially,” he said.

The recent partnerships help matters as the chamber looks to expand its influence and activity around economic development on the Peninsula.

 

editor@peninsulanewsreview.com

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria votes to slash sister city celebrations

Victoria will only celebrate its anniversary with Morioka, Japan this year

Province’s oldest lawyer shares advice for living well at her 100th birthday party

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

PHOTOS: New BC Ferries hybrid vessels arrive in Victoria’s Inner Harbour

The ferries will run two gulf island routes in upcoming months

Saanich swaps last propane-powered Zamboni for electric model

Pearkes arena’s all-electric ice resurfacing fleet to reduce carbon emissions by six tonnes

VIDEO: Traffic snarled during Friday evening rush hour, now clear

Traffic was backed up all over Greater Victoria

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Dashcam records driver’s near-miss near Sooke

Driver crossed four lanes of traffic and back over again, barely missing three other vehicles

Owner surrenders dog suffering from days-old gunshot wound to B.C. SPCA

The dog was also found to be emaciated and suffering from a flea infestation

Most Read