On behalf of the Venture Kamloops Board of Directors, it is my privilege to offer this Annual Report for 2020. As we all know, 2020 was a year of unprecedented upheaval in the business community. Business support organizations, such as ours were thrust to the forefront of the monumental effort to help local businesses survive – and succeed – during the global pandemic. For the Board of Venture Kamloops, this meant the re-evaluation of our carefully laid strategic plan.Read More
2020 was a year unlike any other. It goes without saying that the global pandemic shaped the world, our country, our province and our city in ways that we could never have predicted. This uncertainty has thrust upon the Kamloops business community and Venture Kamloops in mid-March. On the 18th of that month, the Board of Directors okayed the move of all staff to start working from home.Read More
The team at Venture Kamloops works to provide the most up-to-date information to those interested in starting their business in Kamloops or expanding their current operations in the city. Contact us today and book an appointment for a confidential, no-obligation consultation to discover how we can support you.Meet Our Staff Meet Our Board
Venture Kamloops launched the Balance Campaign in 2019, and since then it has served as our premier workforce and resident attraction campaign. This campaign has rolled out through a combination of traditional and social media, and has been hyper targeted to individuals and families from the Fraser Valley, the Lower Mainland and Calgary in search of our lifestyle. With a combination of community facts, comparative data, and video testimonials from people who have moved to Kamloops in search of a better work life balance.
Supporting local has always been a focus for Venture Kamloops, but in 2020 it became even more crucial to emphasize the importance of local patronage. The Support Local initiative offers a quick education on what it means to support local using both quantitative and qualitative data. Through this webpage, the user can learn where the money goes when you support local businesses, as well as connect them to a database from Small Business BC where local businesses can showcase their products and services for free.
Over the past few years, Venture Kamloops’ social media following has grown across all platforms. During 2020, it became more and more apparent that businesses needed a more amplified voice and visibility in order to thrive in this new world. The VK Takeover initiative provides an exciting opportunity for Kamloops businesses to connect with a large audience, and showcase their business in various ways. The takeovers are offered weekly through our Instagram and Facebook pages, and have garnered great support from the community as a part of highlighting entrepreneur ambassadors through our Support Local initiative.
The online Start Here portal connects local entrepreneurs to 5 Kamloops support organizations for business guidance, and an integrated resource network. Through the Start Here platform, businesses can be connected to a multitude of services, including business planning support, financing, technology resources or employment services to name a few. Venture Kamloops, Community Futures Thompson Country (CFTC), WorkBC, Kamloops Innovation and TRU Generator have come together to ensure there is no wrong door when looking for entrepreneurial support in Kamloops.
Recipient of the 2020 BCEDA Community Project Award, the VK Accelerate Program has become one of Venture Kamloops’ featured programs, assisting a variety of businesses getting started or expanding into their first bricks and mortar location. The program follows the natural progression of an entrepreneur, from planning, to financing, to opening the doors and operating. Getting into your first physical location can be difficult and expensive, that’s why VK Accelerate connects businesses to all the resources they need at a reduced rate for the first 6 months!
As Venture Kamloops’ longest running program, the VK Venture Advisors Program has a long history of supporting Kamloops based businesses with a suite of expert advice. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 saw the VK Venture Advisors program moved to virtual meetings via video conference, and offered the advisory sessions on demand during the lockdown in order to support the businesses in need. The program continues to run monthly and looks to support our business community through constructive feedback, insight and connections.
As the City of Kamloops grows, it is Venture Kamloops’ goal to support sustainable growth. The VK Inside Track program is designed to attract outside real estate developers to our city, as well as provide them with the necessary information and statistics to conclude why Kamloops offers a great opportunity for investment. Venture Kamloops continues to promote Kamloops as a place to invest, and those efforts have been validated by the increase in developer interest through virtual information sessions as well as in-person site selector tours to showcase our city.
RC Nation is Your Remote-Control Hobby Destination. The pandemic has led to an explosion of interest in hobbies and recreation in the BC Interior that has not gone unrecognized in 2020. Lenn Korobanik opened RC Nation, his first brick and mortar business, in September 2020 after months of planning with assistance from Venture Kamloops and the expert supports available through the VK Accelerate Program.
Roberta Nechvatal opened the doors to Eat Clean Express & Meal Prep in February of 2020. When the pandemic caused her newly opened storefront to close, Roberta was blown away by the support of the local community. It’s because of you Kamloops that Eat Clean Express and Meal Prep is here to stay.
The unprecedented circumstances we faced in 2020 presented unusual challenges as Venture Kamloops attempted to accurately measure our work and its impact on the community. The data presented below reflects that accurate representation, but with some anomalies made necessary by the circumstances we faced last year.
Most obvious is the dramatic jump in the Total Number of Businesses Assisted for the year. 2019 had been the previous all-time high for the organization. That number jumped to 710 in 2019. The are a number of factors that contributed to this. Firstly, it was a matter of time. On the 18th of March, we closed our office and staff began working from home. From that date, until we returned to the office on June 8th, staff spent much of their day calling Kamloops businesses. This program of continuous, sustained outreach put us in touch with hundreds of businesses – far more than ever before.
A second, notable anomaly is contained in the reporting for Q2 2020. While we report assisting 415 business, the report only accounts for 172 sessions with businesses. This seeming discrepancy is explained by our method of defining “assistance.” During this time period, many of the interactions we had with Kamloops businesses concerned one topic: the pandemic. The narrow focus of these conversations did not rise to the level of our normal business assistance and, as such, while report the contact with business, we did not record the interaction as a “session.”
The data below attempts to do this however, I realize a very confusing year has led to confusing reports. Confusing notwithstanding, our goal here is to fulfill our duty to report our activity honestly and accurately.
|For the Year Ended December 31||Budget||2020||2019|
|City of Kamloops Economic development funding||$633,400||$633,399||$633,400|
|Donations in kind||$34,700||$34,700||$34,700|
|Business Retention and Expansion||$259,751||$229,265||$131,020|
|Accumulated Surplus, beginning of year||$132,755||$132,755||$169,590|
|Accumulated Surplus, end of year||$100,193||$113,971||$132,755|
|As at December 31||2020||2019|
|Cash and cash equivalents||$161,482||$166,881|
|Net Financial Assets||$98,880||$108,739|
|Tangible capital assets||$7,790||$13,042|
Venture Kamloops publishes regular information and data resources in our Data Centre. Businesses can also access partners in the business community to assist in finding the key resources or incentive programs that can help in their expansion or growth. Let us connect you to the network of people and programs available to your business.
Venture Kamloops works for you to compile local economic data, including employment stats, airport numbers, real estate and more. Want to see the most recent economic information? Check out our monthly Economic Indicators. You can stay up-to-date with the most relevant information for your business by accessing the monthly report, or following our social media channels!
We strive to be the go-to source for business information in Kamloops. Our Report Builder was created to ensure visitors can review statistics on the city from Business Climate to Cost of Doing Business to a Community Profile, and then create a free customized report with a few clicks of a mouse. The report generated is the most current, custom to the user, and can be downloaded as a pdf or shared via email.
TRU’s new $32 million Industrial Training and Technology Centre (ITTC) officially opened for learning.