City of Vernon staff will be finding out how local businesses are doing during the 5th annual Business Walks program today.
Economic development manager Kevin Poole says, with the help of volunteers, they will be visiting up to 150 businesses from 10 to noon
“It’s really just a 5 to 10 minute chat with business owners and managers to get some of their immediate needs and challenges, and get a bit of a pulse. We will get the data and report back to our stakeholders.”
Poole says they will focus on prime retail areas like the downtown, the malls, and in Okanagan Landing.
One thing he expects to hear is a shortage of workers to hire.
“Vernon is definitely growing. We’re one of the fastest growing communities in the province . There’s a lot of job opportunities and a lot of challenges attracting labour, and a very low vacancy rate coupled with that,” says Poole.
The City has partnered with Community Futures North Okanagan, the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Vernon Association to ensure as many businesses as possible can be visited.
“Last year we were able to visit 112 businesses in Vernon and we are hoping to surpass this in 2017.”
Vernon was the second region in BC to participate in the Business Walks program starting back in 2013 and visited over 550 businesses throughout the community since that time.
It is anticipated that 40 communities in BC will undertake a Business Walks survey throughout the month of October.