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

 

 

Just Posted

Peninsula Panthers knocking on the door of the VIJHL playoffs

NORTH SAANICH — The Peninsula Panthers are getting down to crunch time… Continue reading

Tent city resident just wants a home

Roving tent city has made its way to Central Saanich

Keating Elementary to get seismic upgrades, 4 new classrooms

Construction on $7.92 million project to begin in July

First Nations integral to North Saanich’s new addictions treatment facility

Pauquachin First Nation working with Homewood Health at former Dunsmuir Lodge site

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

Sidney’s Salish Sea aquarium to close for maintenance

First extended closure for the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea since it opened in 2009

Cash still needed for Stelly’s Cross Path

MLA Olsen wants more specifics first

Injured parachutist wants stolen backpack back

Bag contained important video files of 2017 parachuting incident

Boat capsizes in Caddy Bay

Two members of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club Race Team spent part… Continue reading

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag for Canada at 2018 Olympics

The pair earned a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games

Witnesses sought to reported sexual assault in downtown Victoria

Early morning incident happened near Quadra and View streets

Diplomacy on agenda at North Korea summit in Vancouver

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting Tuesday to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Kids chained in Calif. house of horrors; parents arrested

Authorities say an emaciated teenager led deputies to home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions

‘Reprehensible’: Trudeau abortion policy raises ire of U.S. right

“This man is reprehensible,” tweeted former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka

Most Read