In a combined effort on Wednesday, March 26, volunteer teams made up of members from Quesnel Community Economic Development Corporation (QCEDC), Quesnel and District Chamber of Commerce, Quesnel Downtown Association, along with Mayor Mary Sjostrom and members of council conducted the first Business Walks program of its kind in Quesnel. A second contingent went out on March 28, including Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business, Naomi Yamamoto and Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, Coralee Oakes, MLA for Cariboo North.
More than 90 businesses from the Downtown, South and West Quesnel and Two Mile Flat areas participated in the Business Walks program and the response was very positive. The conversations with business owners have already provided QCEDC with some common themes. Location is one of the main reasons owners like doing business in the area and a need for succession planning and availability of qualified staff are things that could be done to help businesses thrive.
“Now that we’ve met with the business owners, our next step is to follow up,” Amy Reid, Economic Development Officer for QCEDC said.
“We have some great resources for business available in our community and we need to make sure that business owners are aware these opportunities.”
The Province of B.C. is pleased with the response from the community and will use the experience in Quesnel to implement similar programs in other rural communities.
The information gathered from the Business Walks will now be compiled into a comprehensive report to be used by many community organizations. QCEDC, the Chamber of Commerce and Community Futures can use the information
as a tool to identify and tailor needed programs and services, while civic leaders can use the connection developed from the
face-to-face interaction to identify and remove barriers for doing business in the area. QCEDC would like to thank all of the community leaders and businesses that participated in the Business Walks program.
This program and programs like these would not be successful if without the support of the community.