Business Retention and Expansion study underway for Nelson and area
Interviews with business owners will inform strategy for local economic development
The Nelson and Area Economic Development Partnership (NAEDP) is busy talking with local business owners to gather their input for its 2015 Business Retention and Expansion project.
In the coming months, Project Coordinator Anni Holtby will interview about 150 business owners to learn about the challenges and successes they face with doing business in the area. These confidential interviews will be used to inform action planning to help improve the local business environment.
The last Business Retention and Expansion study conducted for the area was in 2010, when businesses were riding out the effects of the economic downturn. At the time many businesses were concerned about maintaining their customer base because consumer spending was down – they asked for a campaign to support local shopping and a greater effort to attract tourists to the area. NAEDP was able to respond with a strong Buy Local campaign and the creation of the Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism Association.
The 2010 project also recognised a need for more networking opportunities, training on succession planning and human resources, seminars and events, and information on making businesses more environmentally sustainable. As a result, NAEDP worked to increase the number of workshops and events available to businesses.
“We’ve accomplished a lot since the last survey five years ago, but there is always more to be done,” said Andrea Wilkey, NAEDP member and Executive Director of Community Futures Central Kootenay. “The 2015 survey will help us identify priority issues to make Nelson and area an even better place to do business.”
The Business Retention and Expansion Survey will reach out to all sectors of our local economy including manufacturing, tech sector, home-based businesses, storefront and professional services. If you would like to participate in the survey, contact Coordinator Anni Holtby at nelsonBRE@shaw.ca.
The NAEDP would like to thank Columbia Basin Trust, the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation Labour Market Partnership, and the Rural Development Institute at Selkirk College for supporting this project.
The NAEDP is a partnership between the City of Nelson, Community Futures Central Kootenay, Nelson & District Chamber of Commerce, and RDCK Areas E and F. The partnership’s goal is to take a unified approach to community economic development initiatives for the city and region.