2019 was the first year of the board’s new 5-year strategic plan which provides staff with new and exciting opportunities and direction. In addition to Business Retention & Expansion and Business Attraction, VK staff have expanded our core areas, or “Economic Building Blocks” to include focusses on Information & Resources and Workforce Capacity. These integral economic development functions have pushed staff to expand our thinking and our reach as we look to recruit many of our strategic partners to new initiatives and programs.
2019 was a record-setting year for Venture Kamloops. During the year, we met and worked with more Kamloops entrepreneurs than ever before. Our exciting VK Accelerate program welcomed 2 new participants. This program highlights the array of services available to local entrepreneurs and provides them with the opportunity to move into their first retail location. This program, now in its second year, joins the venerable VK Venture Advisors program as direct benefits to real life, hard-working entrepreneurs.
We continue to seek investment from outside the city through the VK Inside Track program, which delivers detailed information to real estate developers. This year, we’ll be completing a new real estate market assessment that will provide important updates on the Kamloops market for investors as the busy real estate scene moves along at a record pace.
Our Start Here program continues to evolve with the collaboration of our partners Community Futures, Work BC, Kamloops Innovation and TRU Generator. This important tool is now a one stop starting point for business in Kamloops. Entrepreneurs at any stage of their business life can log on and find the help they need from the right people.
Our mission to provide the most up-to-date information continues to drive us. We continually seek to add and update information to our online resources. In addition to the larger research reports we provide, we strive to keep the information timely through our Economic Indicators report.
This past year saw the launch of the ongoing Balance campaign. Quality of Life is among the most important factors job seekers consider when weighing employment opportunities. The goal of the campaign is to expand the city’s workforce by attracting new residents to the community from the larger centres in the Lower Mainland of BC by highlighting the cost savings, benefits & opportunity of living in Kamloops. The campaign is comprised of a highly targeted online & social media campaign and dedicated web page. In addition, a broader, more general appeal through television ads is underway.
These programs form the core of our economic development efforts in the city. While the specific intent of each is different, the goal is the same – we want Kamloops to be the best place to do business. As we move into 2020 and a new decade, I’m sure many things will change, but that goal will remain the same for us at Venture Kamloops.
- Jim Anderson, Executive Director
TRU’s new $32 million Industrial Training and Technology Centre (ITTC) officially opened for learning.