Business Walks survey released

On Oct. 14, local officials visited 156 businesses over two hours in the Vernon area

Bringing community leaders together with entrepreneurs was a success.

The City of Vernon has released the results of the 2015 Business Walks survey.

“The businesses that were interviewed were generally positive about their current state of business, with 92 per cent stating that business was either fair or steady or good and increasing,” said Roy Nuriel, the city’s long range planner, in a report.

“The result is 4.3 per cent lower than the 2014 Business Walks survey (96.3 per cent) and four per cent higher than the 2013 survey (88 per cent).”

On Oct. 14, representatives from the city, the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce, Community Futures and the Downtown Vernon Association visited 156 businesses over two hours.

Each business was asked six questions in order to gain a better understanding of the current economic conditions in Vernon and to learn how local agencies can better meet the needs of businesses.

“The primary goal of the Business Walks program is to provide an opportunity for businesses to offer instant feedback to the city and partner business service providers regarding any concerns or challenges they may be experiencing,” said Nuriel.

Among the issues raised was parking.

“Staff have referred businesses to the city centre parking implementation strategy that provides a framework to better address this ongoing challenge common in many downtowns,” said Nuriel.

Other topics that arose were business succession planning, labour support programs and statistical data.

“Many businesses stated they require additional data on Vernon,” said Nuriel.

“Economic development staff are currently working on a major update of the Vernon community profile, which is filled with statistical data on the community and region, including demographic information, building permit activity, major projects and sector overviews. The update is expected to be completed by the end of 2015 and would be made available online and in print format.”