Sooke Oceanside Brewery owner Ryan Orr proudly stands by his mouthwatering variety of beers.

Sooke businesses saw success in 2016

Producing enough building space (commercial or residential) continues to be a challenge for Sooke region

Sooke businesses had a good run this year.

We’ve seen Sooke’s first brewery (it literally ran out of beer in its first few days of opening) and first funeral service business, along with many others setting up shop.

A booming real estate market also led to more than $16 million in building permits issued this year.

Still, what is 2017’s business climate going to look like in Sooke and the future?

While recent improvements to Sooke’s downtown core certainly make it a more inviting place to be, it’s the town’s real estate market that has really helped some businesses bloom, such as Sooke Home Hardware, said owner Scott Gertsma.

“I don’t want to see our [real estate] marketplace cool off in Victoria, West Shore and Sooke. It’s driving all the growth in this community right now,” he said.

Like any business ecosystem, one thing affects the other, for better or worse.

“[Plumbers and electricians] are so busy right now, and with that business comes customers wanting to buy better quality items, like instead of a $15 coffee pot, they buy a $25 coffee pot … it all trickles down,” Gertsma said, adding it’s been a good year for his business this year.

As such, Gertsma feels positive about 2017, though he hopes the District of Sooke could improve its ability for approving rezoning applications and building permits.

“The building permit would be the top of my list. When it takes six weeks to have a building permit issued for a house in this community, that’s too long, when our neighbour to the east of us can issue that building permit in seven days,” he said, hoping municipal efficiency is better in the new year.

Landing enough building space (commercial or residential) has been a constant challenge for Sooke, which could continue to be an issue for retail expansion, said Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce president Kerry Cavers.

“Next year for retail, I don’t see much growth, because there’s not much [land and building] inventory. It’s something the chamber wants to work with the district,” Cavers said, adding despite the lack of available space, she was surprised how many new retail businesses opened this year.

“I think that’s a really positive indicator of where business in Sooke is going, that more people are getting in the game and they want to see Sooke develop and people filling in gaps in services that aren’t here,” she said.

Overall though, Cavers hopes to create a hub-type environment for business owners to engage with one another and possibly even help each other out.

“We have some amazing people in Sooke with a huge heart, and if we could just start working together, I think we can change the climate and make it much more welcoming to bring business here, to visit here.”

 

 

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

Just Posted

Ocean Boulevard could open after Labour Day

Colwood council expected to discuss options later this month

Sidney can ‘only educate and encourage’ people to social distance

CAO says municipality lacks legislative authority to enforce social distancing in public

View Royal fire chief calls for realistic solutions to ‘mess’ at Thetis Lake

Emergency crews harassed while extinguishing brush fire, rescuing drunk 15-year-old during long weekend calls

Greater Victoria woman goes on gratitude mission to thank first responders

Jen Klein fainted while driving and crashed on Pat Bay Highway in 2019

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

Cyclist in hospital after being hit by load of lumber hanging from truck on B.C. highway

A man is in hospital with broken ribs, punctured lung and a broken clavicle and scapula

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Racism in B.C. healthcare: Deadline for First Nations survey coming up on Aug. 6

Survey comes after hospital staff allegedly played a blood alcohol guessing game

‘We want to help’: As overdose deaths spike, beds lay empty at long-term Surrey rehab centre

John Volken Academy searching for ‘students’ to enlist in two-year residential treatment program

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Most Read