The Central Okanagan Business Walk is set to get underway.
The sixth annual event will help launch Small Business Month with fact-finding volunteers ready to hit the pavement and connect with up to 400 business owners and employees.
The walk takes place from 9 a.m. to noon in Lake Country, Kelowna, Westbank First Nation, West Kelowna and Peachland on Wednesday, Oct. 4.
Business owners are encouraged to be in their place of work that morning to field questions and offer feedback that will create a clear picture of what’s happening in the valley.
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The Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission introduced the Business Walk to Canada in 2012, the program has become a model for the dozens of communities across Canada that have since conducted Business Walks.
The COEDC Business Walk was awarded Community Project of the Year from the British Columbia Economic Development Association of BC in 2012 and is recognized as an Economic Development Best Practice by the Provincial Government.
Powered by the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission, the program is a partnership between COEDC, municipalities, Westbank First Nation, business improvement associations, Chambers of Commerce/Boards of Trade and other stakeholder organizations that support the Central Okanagan business community.
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Through a brief conversational survey, the Business Walk gathers important information that identifies program and service opportunities aimed at helping Central Okanagan businesses grow. This year’s Walk will include questions about employee retention and recruitment challenges, as well as the impact of fires and flooding in the region.
To date, more than 2,000 Central Okanagan businesses have participated in the Central Okanagan Business Walk program. One-on-one follow up assistance has been provided to businesses related to such topics as signage, zoning, parking, exporting and B2B connections.
Opportunities to support business growth have been communicated to municipalities, Chambers of Commerce and Business Improvement areas throughout the region.