Town of Sidney funds business group’s feasibility study

Offshoot of Sidney Merchants' Co-op forms society to study options, including a business improvement association

A group of Sidney businesses will spend their summer examining ways to boost the town’s economy.

“There was some general agreement [among merchants] that the economy … had negative impacts on Sidney business growth,” Cliff McNeil-Smith, owner of Tanner’s Books and the Children’s Bookstore told council Monday.

McNeil-Smith is a member on the board of the Sidney Business Development Group, a society of about 25 business members that is an offshoot of the Sidney Merchants’ Co-op. The co-op formed last fall with the hopes of promoting the town’s businesses in the face of a proposal to build a large commercial centre in Central Saanich.

The Sidney Business Development Group’s pitch to council Monday ties in with a branding strategy for the town, launched by the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre’s Angus Matthews and the Sidney Pier Hotel’s Lisa Makar last year.

“How does something like this get lifted off the ground,” McNeil-Smith said of the branding push. “It sounds like it’ll take some initiatives, some money to lift it off the ground.”

So after Mayor Larry Cross set aside $60,000 in the town’s budget for economic development, the group established its pitch.

The group plans to deliver data on various economic develop models, ideas for partnerships with other business groups, such as the chamber, and potential funding models to the Town of Sidney by mid September. They also hope to assemble a full feasibility study by the end of November.

Among the models to explore is a business improvement association, which has regained momentum among some merchants this year.

“I think the end goal is most of the people involved now have a sense we need to be able to promote ourselves better. What’s the best way to do that,” said McNeil-Smith. “There’s a sense we needed to come together anyway to reach our full potential.”

Sidney council on Monday unanimously approved $18,500 in funding for the study.

 

Who’s involved

The Sidney Business Development Group has a board of seven members who stem from the Sidney Merchants Co-op.

The Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce is in support of the group’s endeavours for a feasibility study.

“The [Sidney Business Association] has a role in the community. What it does primarily is run our summer market,” McNeil-Smith said. “Unfortunately the SBA leadership has rebuffed our invitations [to be involved}. But the door’s always open.”

 

Related stories

Businesses band together to begin marketing plan for Sidney

SODC wants to make Sidney a family-friendly place to visit

Just Posted

Graffiti clean up costs Victoria businesses roughly $1M a year

Business association teams up with city in campaign to reduce graffiti in downtown

Mixed-use density proposed for Oak Bay Avenue

Parking prioritized despite proximity to amenities

Former Sidney fire hall ready for demolition

Majority of work begins Monday to tear down multiple buildings on Third Street and Sidney Avenue

UPDATED: Two-sailing wait at BC Ferries Swartz Bay terminal

Passengers destined for Tsawwassen without a reservation should allow for extra time at terminal

WATCH: Marine security company posts live seal cam at Oak Bay Marina

Seals tend to loiter near the fish-cleaning table

WATCH: Family dog missing after fire tears through Metchosin home

Firefighters continue to monitor for hot spots

Toronto activist calling on federal parties to nominate more black candidates

Fewer than 20 black Canadians have been nominated so far, including some Liberal MPs seeking re-election

Portland, Oregon, awaits right-wing rally, counter protests

Patriot Prayer’s Joey Gibson surrendered Friday on an arrest warrant for felony rioting

Kraft Heinz brand baby food recalled in B.C. due to possibility of insects

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the product should not be consumed

First Nations women finally to be treated equally under Indian Act: Bennett

Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action thanked the feds

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

Victoria Shamrocks open WLA finals at Q Centre in Colwood

Team is evenly matched in championship series against Maple Ridge Burrards

‘Easy Rider’ star Peter Fonda dies at 79

Actor and writer was nominated for an Oscar for co-writing the 1969 psychedelic road trip movie

Excavators help cute kid who copied their dig with his toys stay “safe at work”

Carson Carnegie wakes up at 7:00 am every morning to watch construction work on his street

Most Read