From idea to action – creating awareness to fill vacancies
On February 16, 2015, 13 people participated in the first Kimberley Investment Opportunities Tour, which showcased commercial investment opportunities around town through a tour of properties with key experts. The idea for the tour came from Kimberley’s Mayor Don McCormick.
“It’s all about ideas” Said Mayor McCormick. “Shortly after the election in November I read about a tour of vacant properties from a blog I follow about business survival in small towns.”
The City’s Economic Development Officer and the Chamber of Commerce Manager immediately recognized the fit with investment attraction objectives and began planning a tour of properties throughout town. “We know that people are curious about the vacant buildings” explained Mike Gaurnery, Chamber Manager, “we want to start conversations about possibilities.”
The group toured commercial buildings and development land in the downtown, as well as the Health Centre. “We got great feedback from participants, who unanimously thought it was useful.” Said EDO Kevin Wilson. “Activities such as this and Invest Kootenay complement the services offered by realtors.”
Local biologist and bee enthusiast Randy Moody agrees. “We operate a small bee products company and have been thinking about expansion options for some time. The tour gave me a chance to see and compare the qualities of multiple properties. Can’t say at this point what the next step is but it gave me lots to think about.”
Mayor McCormick is enthusiastic “As we progress with our economic development planning, this is the type of activity we can act on immediately.”