The District of Lake Country has seen a significant increase in home-based businesses.
“In 2017, the district had 721 licensed businesses, representing an increase from the previous year, where 680 were licensed. This is on top of the growth from 2015 when the district saw 632 business licenses taken out,” said community development manager Jamie McEwan, via email.
“Over the past 20 years, the average number of business licenses in any given year has been 576. A large proportion of these businesses are home-based. We have historically had anywhere from 60 to 70 per cent of businesses in a given year operating out of homes, as people have been moving here for the quality of life balanced with business opportunities.”
With the airport and the desired scenery, more people are also seeing Lake Country as a place to freelance, telecommute or run a small home office, he said.
The Lake Country Chamber of Commerce has also seen continual growth in its membership since 2016, said executive director Kimberly Kristiansen.
With the eventual opening of the Okanagan Rail Trail, she expects to see continued growth and popularity with tourists.
Lake Country has a population of 12,922, according to census data. That number is expected to increase past 20,000 by 2030, according to the district’s Official Community Plan.
Co-owner Colleen Nolin, of Cosmetic Culture Sport and Spa, said she decided to open a business in Lake Country because she knew people in the district and thought the spa would be a good combination with Anytime Fitness to promote a healthy lifestyle.
She said the district’s rapid growth has enticed businesses to the area and sees the community as an active one.
Originally from the prairies, “coming to B.C. immediately it’s noticeable people are out walking,” she said. “People are definitely close to nature here and being outside. It’s a way of life.”
There was also a buzz around the Turtle Bay complex, where the spa is located. “It just seemed like the right place to put it,” said Nolin.
Commercial development has been increasing within the Town Centre on Main Street/Highway 97 and around the Turtle Bay Crossing area.
“As Lake Country’s population is growing, and the region continues to be one of Canada’s fastest growing areas, small and large businesses are finding Lake Country more attractive—for more reasons than just the view,” said McEwan.
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