CHAMBER CHATTER: Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce eyes more economic activity

Chamber of Commerce executive recently met to lay out a slate of ambitious programs

The Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce executive recently met to lay out a slate of ambitious programs for 2016.

Much of the program agenda stems from the highly successful day-long retreat held in September with 50 community leaders who were asked to lay out their vision and the challenges regarding the future of Sooke.

Like any community, residents had an extensive shopping list, much of which has already been reported in the Sooke News Mirror.

Improvements to Highway 14 for the purposes of increased safety was considered a top priority and the chamber feels the time is right to push for change given the recent announcement by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure allocating $85 million toward a new McKenzie Road interchange.

Chamber president Sean Dyble reminded the ministry that some 14,000 vehicles use the most westerly part of Highway 14 and a relatively small investment is needed to make this portion of the highway safer.

Dyble points out that in reviewing the ideas that emerged from the September symposium, much of the needs list is interwoven. An example is that improvements to the highway would in turn, encourage more families and job-creating businesses to move here. As more families move to Sooke they stimulate the building trades and that in turn creates even more employment.

Other priorities for 2016 include upgrades to electronic infrastructure such as better cellular and bandwidth connections which would end the frustration we all have as cellphone users and at the same time, encourage more telecommuters that work from home.

The chamber’s Better Buy Sooke program has been well received and some consumers have asked if that means that they should only buy local.

Dyble points out that the intent is to simply give local retailers and service providers the first chance at meeting your needs and if price and quality are a match with Victoria companies, then that deserves their support.

Next year will also see a concentration of effort in the chamber’s relocation strategy which will campaign to encourage more pre-retirees to relocate to Sooke.

Dyble points out that if most of the families that move to Sooke buy a family home in the $350,000 to $400,000 range this can bring enormous initial economic benefit often followed by major expenditures in renovations and services.

One of the chamber’s more entertaining responsibilities is to work with the community in the Sooke Santa Parade. In spite of the work underway in the downtown, the parade attracted more participants than last year and more of Santa’s fans crowded along the newly designed route. The challenges that all this brought to traffic management was solved by the professional services of Sooke’s Shadow West Security who hired extra staff as a commitment to making sure things ran smoothly.

All Sooke residents should be impressed and pleased at the vast improvements to Sooke Road with the completion of the roundabout and the new Royal Bank building.

The chamber now hopes to initiate discussions with building owners in that part of town that are willing to consider enhancements to their properties reflecting the town centre guidelines while adding to the “curb appeal” of the area.

•••

Submitted by the Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce.

 

 

Just Posted

UVic science and engineering research gets $18.8 million federal funding boost

Funding for engineering, science, sustainability research

Horse carriage supporters to rally outside city hall

Owner of carriage company plans rally in response to Coun. Ben Isitt’s motion

Victoria woman competing for role as Maxim cover model

Winning model gets featured spread in magazine, cash price

11th annual Sooke Secret Garden Tour offering eight locations

June 2 event a fundraiser for Sooke Philharmonic Society

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Raptors beat Bucks 120-102 to even series at 2-2

Lowry pours in 25 as Toronto moves within two games of NBA Finals

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Christmas morning burglar sentenced on Vancouver Island

Justin Redmond Feusse, 20, sentenced to 240 days in jail for Dec. 25 break-and-enter

So, do you know ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’?

Ontario man searching for fellow he travelled with in Europe 50 years ago

Toddler seriously injured after falling from Okanagan balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment in Kelowna

Mamma Mia! Here we go again at Sooke’s EMCS theatre

Production of Mamma Mi! features ABBA tunes that leave you humming

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Is vegan food a human right? Ontario firefighter battling B.C. blaze argues it is

Adam Knauff says he had to go hungry some days because there was no vegan food

Most Read