Dallas Crick of Century 21 and a director of the Uptown Rutland Business Association and the COEDC’s Krista Mallory (right) interview Joyce Van Norman at Hollywood Shoes in Rutland during Wednesday’s 2017 Business Walk.—Alistair Waters/Capital News

Annual Business Walk gathers info across Central Okanagan

The sixth annual walk saw interviewers pan out across the region to interview business operators.

The sixth annual Business Walk was held Wednesday to gauge the pulse of business throughout the Central Okanagan.

Teams of volunteer interviewers were dispatched to between 200 and 300 businesses in Kelowna, Lake Country, West Kelowna, Peachland and on the Westbank First Nation reserves to briefly talk with business owners and operators about how their businesses are doing, and what concerns and needs they have.

The snapshot provides information for local government, organizations and groups that in turn helps influence economic development plans in future.

The award-winning Business Walk program, which started here in 2012 but has been emulated in communities across the country since then, was started and is run by the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission and includes representatives from the COEDC, local government, the province, business organizations in the Central Okanagan and a host of other groups.

This year, walk organizers added questions about the impact of this spring and summer’s floods and fires, to gauge the impact they had on local business.

Another question asked during the brief discussions with local business operators was about recruitment and any difficulty in finding workers.

Joyce Van Norman, who along with her husband Dan own and operate Hollywood Shoes in the Hollywood Station Plaza in Rutland, said her store recently expanded and business has been good despite the impact of the floods and fire.

“We have a great location and we’re pretty busy,” she said.

She added she would like to see more businesses open up in the Rutland area, particularly larger “anchor” stores.

A few doors away, Shelly Burger of Specialty Bakery, echoed Van Norman’s sentiment.

She said the store is the second location for the popular local bakery and the move into Hollywood Plaza has been a good one for her business.

The information gathered from the business walks Wednesday morning will be compiled and shared with EDC partners, bringing any concerns or requests to the appropriate party’s attention, said the COEDC’s Krista Mallory, organizer of this year’s Business Walk.

Just Posted

A new development surrounding plane that went missing around Revelstoke in November

The family of Ashley Bourgeault believe they have found a new clue

Bikeshare to roll into Kelowna

Kelowna may soon have a fleet of bikes available for hourly rentals

Kelowna police look for missing person

Police ask the public for help in locating a missing man

Four arrests made after couple steals cash stolen in robbery

Kelowna RCMP made four arrests in two “bizarrely related” crimes carried out in Kelowna.

Banner year for housing construction, real estate

If the ample supply of cranes lining Kelowna’s skyline aren’t evidence enough, there’s more cause to believe that this city is in the throes of a building boom.

Your Jan. 22 Morning Brief

Check out the top stories of the day in the Okanagan-Shuswap with Carmen Weld’s Black Press Morning Brief.

$130K could get you on a dive to the Titanic

Hot summer ticket: $130K could get you on a dive to the Titanic off Newfoundland

UK’s Princess Eugenie, daughter of Prince Andrew, engaged

Princess Eugenie, the daughter of Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, will marry Jack Brooksbank in Autumn 2018

German nurse charged with 97 more murders

Niels Hoegel, serving a life sentence for two murders, has been indicted in nearly 100 more killings.

Okanagan jazz legends grace Vernon Jazz Club stage

The Vernon Jazz Society presents the Craig Thomson Quintet Jan. 27

Two men guilty in murders of Alberta family could face 75 years

The pair were found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Klaus’s parents and sister in a rural home near Castor, Alberta

With Senate talks falling short, U.S. shutdown enters workweek

President Donald Trump accused Democrats of prioritizing services and security for noncitizens over U.S. citizens

Heat win fourth straight, Huskies next up

UBCO women hold firm among top four teams in Canada West standings

Toronto mayor wants city to co-host 2026 FIFA World Cup

The mayor of Canada’s most populous city says he wants Toronto to be among the North American cities to co-host the 2026 FIFA World Cup

Most Read