How to boost business
It is Gordon Ganong’s vision to create a community that is economically viable and stays that way for many years into the future. He is the chair of Bowen Island’s Economic Development Advisory Committee and shares those goals with committee members who have looked at ways to give the local economy a boost. They are now inviting members of the public to provide input on Monday, December 3, at municipal hall starting at 1:30 p.m.
The committee has been considering how best to assist Bowen businesses to thrive and looked at the challenges and opportunities of the local economy. Committee members have contemplated what type of business should be encouraged and what needs to be in place to attract businesses to the island. “We think it is important to provide for a range of incomes on Bowen,” Ganong said. “And it is necessary to preserve our social diversity and look at supporting appropriate sectors of the economy, especially those that have a light environmental footprint.”
Some of the focus, according to Ganong, should be on areas that are for the most part recession-proof. And the committee has a number of economic sectors in mind that include cultural tourism, health and wellness, manufacturing and light industry, research, technology, education and carbon offsets.
“While commuting will continue to be part of some islanders’ routines, we envision that islanders will increasingly be able to live and work on Bowen and be appropriately compensated for their work,” Ganong said. “That means that they will also be able to find accommodation suitable to their needs and incomes.”
Ganong added that one of the tasks the committee is facing is to lay out what council and the municipality can do to enable this vision. The committee’s purpose is to provide recommendations to council on policies and strategic initiatives that will further economic development (for information about the committee, please see http://www.bimbc.ca/Economic_Development_Advisory_Committee). Part of the work that has been done involves researching what reports, studies and plans about economic development and business on the island have been completed and see how the OCP addresses business and economic development.
The committee has studied reports and plans for tourism that were done a few years ago with the assistance of Tourism BC and the Community Foundation’s Tourism Program and a report on commerce on Bowen prepared by Bruce Howlett in 2003.
It has also looked at Bowen Island’s Cultural Master Plan.
“Now, we are asking for help from the community,” Ganong said. “We are inviting islanders to talk to us and share their vision. We know that we have many people with great ideas on Bowen.”
To share thoughts and ideas with the committee on December 3, please email Murray Atherton at murray _ firstname.lastname@example.org.