Walks get business feedback

Economic and business development groups from across the region are doing consultation the old-fashioned way this week — going door to door.

To mark the 23rd annual BC Small Business Week the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission and 13 partner groups are holding small business walks to capture businesses concerns, opinions and ideas throughout the region.

Businesses are also asked to participate in a survey to identify areas needing growth and change.

Downtown Kelowna Association’s executive director Mark Burley says the walks gather important insight from businesses and finds out what they need to grow and thrive.

“We are asking about the effects of COVID on things like hiring. We are asking about the effects on staffing levels coming up in the future and just the general state businesses and what businesses feel is going to happen from this point forward.”

Burley and Coun. Loyal Wooldridge stopped by a number of businesses on Ellis Street Tuesday morning.

Dan Iascov, owner of Palazzo Italian Boutique, says his biggest concern is the heavy crime in the area.

“Vandalism, robbing and street people are doing everything they want without repercussions. I would like to see a cleaner environment, a peaceful one so people would be more interested to visit downtown. Most of my clients say they avoid downtown Kelowna.”

“As a city, 80 per cent of what we actually do is land use, but the biggest impact we can have to support local business is our advocacy to the senior levels of government. Both the province and the federal government. So this is going to arm us with further data and more anecdotal comments to be able to bring forward to our partners at the province and federal government to assist businesses,” Wooldridge said.

Businesses that would like to take the survey can visit here.