CHAMBER CHATTER: Unveiling Sooke’s economic future

Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce event hosts day-long conference with members, community leaders and the public

What does the future of Sooke look like through your eyes?

At Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce events, members of the executive and staff are often challenged by members and other locals who have a wide range of ideas that they would like to see as the community deals with the challenges brought about by changing technology and population growth.

In late September, the chamber of commerce hosted a day-long conference with community leaders, asking them to individually and collectively express their ideas and concerns around the future of Sooke and its environs.

Chamber president Sean Dyble told the board of the chamber of commerce how impressed he was with the day’s outcome.

“Delegates clearly exhibited a great deal of realism as to the problems we face and the great opportunities we have, given our locale in one of the most beautiful settings in Canada.  A

“At the same time it was repeatedly stated that we shouldn’t rely on the natural beauty but should continually work to enhance that setting with a ‘man-made’ presence in the form of a character-filled downtown and other amenities that enrich the quality of life for our citizens.”

Some of the exciting ideas that emerged included greater opportunities for localized adult learning (something that’s already underway as a chamber of commerce initiative), further beautification of the downtown, strategies to attract pre-retirees to invest in our real estate and ways to integrate the harbour into the community through commercial and recreational activities.

Delegates to the conference were asked also  to come up with ideas to increase the numbers of telecommuters – people who make their living from home, commuting to Victoria and other cities electronically.

Several ideas emerged around expanding the business base by making sure that existing businesses are given greater opportunities to prosper.

The chamber of commerce’s buy local campaign, Better Buy Sooke, was noted as a great start on improving the fortunes of local retailers and other suppliers.

There was general agreement that an improved economy involved greater marketing of the community to bring increased tourism, as well as attracting company relocations from other parts of British Columbia.

“We know, this will require improved infrastructure both physical such as major improvements to the Sooke highway as well digital in the form of improved cellular and bandwidth,” Dyble said.

There appeared to be a clear understanding that the way to help chamber of commerce members to prosper is through overall economic development of the community at all levels.

The chamber of commerce originated the conference, inviting both members and non-members as part of its community development strategy.

In the coming weeks, the chamber of commerce will issue a written report for community review and for local government. That report will contain a plan to identify organizations and agencies that can assist the chamber of commerce in meeting the goals that emerged from the conference.

•••

Submitted by the Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ron Sivorot, business director at Kennametal’s Langford site, the Greater Victoria facility that made a component being used on NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars. (Jake Romphf, Black Press Media)
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover using piece made at Kennametal’s Langford site

The Greater Victoria plant’s tooth blank is helping the rover’s drill collect rock cores

June Saxe, 2, enjoys the sunny shoreline at Whiffin Spit with her dad on March 5. The family had come out from Victoria for a day in the sunshine. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Warm weather brings Sooke’s Whiffin Spit to life

Visitors, locals enjoy warm weather at coastal viewpoint

Funding requests for the 2021 budget year, submitted by the Administration and Finance Committee, was approved by Langford council at the Feb. 16 meeting. (Black Press Media file photo)
Food awareness, seniors among Langford’s approved 2021 funding requests

New and returning community organizations to receive financial boost

Underground utility installations are underway on Latoria Boulevard at Latoria Road near Royal Bay Secondary and on Metchosin Road south of Latoria Boulevard. (City of Colwood image)
Road work hinders Colwood drivers in Royal Bay

Underground utility installation could run most of March

A rockfall closed Finlayson Arm Road and West Shore Parkway on Friday (March 5) afternoon. (Twitter/BC Transportation)
UPDATED: Malahat reopens following rockfall

Section of Trans-Canada Highway was scheduled for intermittent closures today for rock scaling work

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to pair of lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Premiers argue that the current amount doesn’t keep pace with yearly cost increases of about five per cent

Free Reformed Church is seen as people attend service, in Chilliwack, B.C., on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. Lawyers for the British Columbia government and the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms are back in B.C. Supreme Court today, squaring off over the legality of COVID-19 rules that prohibit in-person religious services. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. top doctor has power to restrict access to a place during health hazard: lawyer

Under B.C.’s Public Health Act, Jacqueline Hughes says, Henry can restrict or prevent entry to a place

Most Read