A Business Walk held by the Qualicum Beach Chamber of Commerce reveals businesses are steady or growing but want more support with marketing.
The findings are being released to the business community by the Business Walk Follow-up Committee.
In October the Chamber hosted a Regional Business walk stretching from French Creek to Bowser involving nine economic development agencies and 21 volunteers who interviewed business owners and managers in a two hour period.
Once the walk was complete a survey report was generated with the following results:
- When asked to rate the state of their business 92% of respondents rated their business as either “steady” or “increasing”.
- When asked what they like most about doing business in the Qualicum Beach area, location and clientele were the most common responses.
- When businesses were asked what they found most challenging about doing business in the area, the two most common responses were “lack of clientele” (22%) and “finding employees” (16%).
- More effort towards supporting businesses with marketing was identified by 59% of respondents as a key element that could help their business thrive.
- Hiring/HR issues were identified by approximately 20% of respondents. Additionally, a combined 16% of respondents requested support with business planning and/or succession planning.
Follow up meetings were focused on responding to the needs that were expressed. After collaborative discussion it was suggested that supports be put in place to assist with:
- Business Succession Planning
- Marketing Training
- Potential Tourism Business Reverse Trade Show and
- Health Professionals Networking Trade Show
Businesses are encouraged to watch the local paper and the Qualicum Beach Chamber of Commerce weekly newsletters for opportunities to make their business stronger.
Business Walks aim to take the pulse of the business community by connecting face to face with businesses and involves a partnership between local, municipal, regional and provincial service providers.
Business Walks are recognized as economic development best practices by the Province of BC. Gathering community and business information is a key ingredient in fostering economic growth and expansion potential.
The Qualicum Beach Business Walk would not have been a success without the efforts and generosity of many service providers in the area such as: B.C. Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, Michelle Stilwell – Minister of Social Development and Innovation, Town of Qualicum Beach, Qualicum Beach Downtown Business Association, Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism Association, Lighthouse Country Business Association, Island Coastal Economic Trust, Community Future Central Island and local service providers.