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

SOOKE HISTORY: Christmas party at Gibsons store in 1959

Elida Peers | Contributed Perhaps Christmas parties were a little more homespun… Continue reading

Catch last call and a cheap ride home: Late night buses coming to Victoria in 2019

New plan will extend service on weekends with last trip leaving downtown at 3 a.m.

WATCH: Booze, weed both have fatal consequences

Video shows how easily impairment affects driving

Mackenzie Interchange pump failure sends contaminated water into Colquitz River

Sediment release in salmon-bearing river a serious threat to aquatic life, says local activist

VIDEO: Ex-NASA engineer pranks mail thieves with glitter bomb trap

Package thefts are common this time of year, but YouTuber Mark Rober used his engineering skills

Bear cubs try to take Vancouver Island woman’s Christmas cookies

Incident happened in the early-morning hours today, Dec. 18, in Nanaimo

FortisBC says you can return to normal gas use following pipeline fire

Utility says increased pipeline capacity, warmer weather have allowed supply to reach normal levels

CSIS collected info on peaceful groups, but only in pursuit of threats: watchdog

Security Intelligence Review Committee says fears unjustified after reviewing evidence, testimony

Canada ranks 16th on annual gender gap list

This is the second year Canada has placed 16th in the World Economic Forum’s list

VIDEO: Tornado rips through city west of Seattle

Reports indicate five to seven homes damaged in Port Orchard, Wash.

Trial date postponed for man charged with killing Abbotsford police officer

Oscar Arfmann’s trial pushed back from January to May 2019

Privacy watchdog says legal cannabis buyers should use cash, not credit

Some countries could bar entry to individuals if they know they have purchased cannabis

‘A start:’ Alberta critical of Ottawa’s $1.6B package for ailing energy sector

A further $150 million is to be used for clean growth and infrastructure projects

Most Read