What is the state of Rossland's business community and how do we improve it? New project aims to answer questions

Andrew Zwicker
By Andrew Zwicker
March 3rd, 2011

There is lots of talk and lots of assumptions as to what the trick (or tricks) to boosting business in Rossland might be. There’s a perceived need to both solidify existing businesses as well as attract new ones. With lots of ideas out there, the Rossland Chamber of Commerce is currently collaborating with the Sustainability Commission’s Economic Development Task Force on a new initiative to develop some real data to determine the actual needs of the community.

 The survey project has set out three ambitious goals as it launches the new business survey:

  • To take a snapshot of the existing business environment in Rossland and attempt to accurately assess the needs of the business community.
  • To then provide assistance to the business community that will help them survive economic difficulties and promote business expansion and new jobs.
  • To help local government, economic development organizations and local businesses get on the same page and work together to solve any unresolved issues.

The survey questions were built from a similar business retention and expansion survey effort the City of Nelson undertook recently, but were reworked to fit Rossland’s needs. The hope is that the results of this survey will ultimately be compiled into a document to be shared among stakeholders and then used in future decision making by groups like the Chamber, the Economic Development task force and the City of Rossland.
“We would like to tap into the local business and get some valuable insight as to what exactly are the current issues they face and ask what economic development is for the business community,” said Renee Clark of the Rossland Chamber of Commerce.
“The survey should provide a long overdue state of business in modern day Rossland and will also be an up-to-date guide for future initiatives and planning,” added EDTF Chair, Bob Reardon.
The survey available now on the Visions 2 Actions website will be open until March 22nd. Hard copies are available at City Hall as well.
Once the survey is completed, the real proof of its worth will come in the follow up.
At present, there are no funds committed to any particular follow up action or initiatives building on the study. While personal assumptions on what the current business climate is like in Rossland and what programs, or resources might benefit that may exist, the group is holding off on thinking about next steps until the data from the survey is in.
“Some things I can foresee happening are some new marketing initiatives to attract small businesses to our community,” added Clark. “We would decide what those would be once we see the results. It’s really an early stage in a larger project. We’re trying to find the unique things that are apparent and that we can work on for the greater good of the community. We’ll cross each path as we come to it so it’s hard to say how we might support the results.”
Whether you are a chamber member, home-based business or a ‘nomadic entrepreneur’, the EDTF and Chamber want to hear from you.
If you could do one thing to help boost the business community in Rossland what would it be? Post your comments here and then fill out the survey here.

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