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.”

 

 

Just Posted

Province announces more improvements for Highway 14

$85-million project made possible through federal funding support

Wild Wise Sooke founder leaves post

Lush Cosmetics offers much-needed funding for the group

UVic partners with harm reduction groups to run a drug checking pilot project

The three-year pilot will allow people to test their drugs for fatal ingredients like fentanyl

Public asked to give feedback on proposed protection measures for southern resident orcas

Measures focus on key threats related to contaminants, lack of prey, noise or physical disturbance

Many teens unaware if they’re vaping nicotine or not

Health Canada survey finds many youth are unaware of the risks of using nicotine products

WATCH: Police call Happy Valley shooting an ‘isolated and targeted’ incident

One person in custody, another fled following crash on Kelly Road

Woe, Canada: Bruins down Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 7

No Canadian teams left in Stanley Cup playoffs

Should B.C. parents receive money if they make sure their kids are vaccinated?

New survey looks at public opinion around government’s role in forcing immunizations

Music Monday to unite students across Sooke in song

Over 200 students will carol around town on May 6

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

POLL: Do you think the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris should be rebuilt?

Images of one of the word’s most iconic landmarks were seared into… Continue reading

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Most Read