Spallumcheen Mayor Christine Fraser accepts the Medium Communities Open For Business Award from Small Business BC. (Photo submitted)

Spallumcheen Mayor Christine Fraser accepts the Medium Communities Open For Business Award from Small Business BC. (Photo submitted)

Being open for business paying dividends for Okanagan township

Spallumcheen wins provincial award, new business and building starts increase

The Township of Spallumcheen is living up to its new unofficial motto.

New signs off Highway 97A in the township on the old Sengotta property proclaim ‘Spallumcheen – Open For Business; Where Farming and Industry Prosper’ and the message is being heard and received.

“In the last two years, we’ve had six or seven new businesses open up in the township,” said Mayor Christine Fraser. “So far, through four months in 2021, we’ve seen an increase in building permits. We’ve had approximately 30 so far. We’ve been able to have quick, efficient turnarounds on the applications.”

Fraser said the township has been taking the open for business approach prior to the pandemic hitting in 2020. Council and staff were engaging locals through business roundtable discussions and wanted to get the word out that regular and agricultural industry was welcome in the township.

That approach was noticed provincewide.

Small Business B.C. named the township the winner of its Open For Business Award for medium communities.

“Spallumcheen’s collaborative approach to economic development has proven a massive hit with local business leaders,” wrote the organization on its website, with Fraser accepting the award. “The township hosts regular industry roundtable meetings with entrepreneurs where both can discuss the challenges local industry faces, before devising mutually beneficial solutions.”

The recent installation of FibreOptic Internet service through a partnership with Telus is a prime example of the benefits possible from this approach.

“Through open lines of communication and a can-do attitude, Spallumcheen has shown it is Open for Business,” said Small Business B.C., which also named the Village of Lumby the winner of the Open For Business Award for small communities.

“Lumby presents the perfect example of a small, rural municipality that is adapting amid changing economic conditions. Historically a resource-based town, Lumby has taken a proactive approach to diversifying the local economy so it’s positioned to thrive in a new decade.

“Through increased consultation with business leaders, and the creation of Lumby Investment Corporation, this forward-facing town will continue to live up to its motto of ‘Simply the Best.’”

READ MORE: Township of Spallumcheen handling development, planning applications

READ MORE: Township of Spallumcheen departments available remotely

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