Enderby City Council, in cooperation with the Enderby & District Chamber of Commerce, Community Futures North Okanagan, and the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training undertook a Business Walk on October 28, 2015.
They did this to learn more about local businesses through face-to-face interviews and to identify opportunities for further supporting community economic development. The British Columbia Economic Development Association has identified Business Walks as a key way to support business retention and expansion.
“We wanted to meet with local businesses in order to understand the issues and barriers that they may be facing. It was great to have Community Futures, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Ministry of Jobs take part as it allowed us to directly connect our local businesses with a variety of available resources, services, and information,” said Mayor Greg McCune.
A survey was conducted with each business. This allowed the City of Enderby to collect key information about community economic trends, opportunities, and threats. This information will be shared with the Province of British Columbia to help develop business support programs.
“Business retention and expansion is a high priority for our community, so it’s really important that we bring together community partners such as Community Futures, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Ministry of Jobs to identify what we can do to help our local businesses thrive,” explained Mayor Greg McCune.
A summary report of business feedback will be presented to Council at a later date along with a list of proposed action items for implementation.
What is a business walk?
Business Walks involves a partnership facilitated by the economic development group within the local area.
“Walkers” (teams of leaders made up from the partners) walk from business to business asking a few conversationally structured questions that capture the pulse of the business community. Over a few short hours large portions of the community are covered.
The Business Walk program offers an excellent opportunity to listen to the local business community, identifying common themes for action while bringing together educational resources, municipal services and representatives of the business community for specific action plans. The Business Walks program allows visitation to numerous businesses in a short amount of time in order to gather industry intelligence to foster business growth.BC Economic Development Association