Walkers get set to hit the pavement for the inaugural Chamber of Commerce Business Walk, canvassing local businesses in June, 2106 (Barry Coulter file photo).

Walkers get set to hit the pavement for the inaugural Chamber of Commerce Business Walk, canvassing local businesses in June, 2106 (Barry Coulter file photo).

Cranbrook Business Walk returns for its second year running

By Paul Rodgers

The Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the City of Cranbrook’s Economic Development Department andthe Community Futures East Kootenay, among others, will be conducting their second annual Business Walk on Tuesday June27.

The walk gives individual business owners and managers a chance to meet face to face with the civic and business leadershipin order to address issues they may have, and have their voices heard.

David D. Hull, executive director of the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce, says that the 2016 walk was “very, very successful”and created a baseline of data allowing for successful future business walks. He explains that last year they went out andsurveyed 150 to 160 businesses, asking a standard set of questions and getting the opportunity to better get to know themand get a feel for how business was going.

“What really starts to bear fruit is this year now when we can start comparing overlaying data from last year to this yearbecause we’ll be basically asking essentially the same set of questions,” says Hull.

That means that next year the results will be exponentially more beneficial as they will have trends that they can analyze andbuild off of. Hull says that even this year the data will be “far more in depth and more meaningful.” The data they collect willbe correlated and collated by the end of August and there will be a series of releases of information to their members and thegeneral public by September.

In addition to the successful and beneficial results from last year, Hull says the response from businesses last year was alsopositive.

“They were very happy to see us and a lot of them commented that it was the first time that anybody had ever come to theirbusiness and asked them how it was going, so that part was very rewarding as well.”

Hull says that some of the issues raised from last year, including red tape, the time it takes to get permits through City Halland taxes, have already been addressed.

“David Kim has been a real positive influence on that process at City Hall,” says Hull.

The data revealed from the walk is also useful for potential business owners considering setting up shop in Cranbrook; it lets them see if businesses are expanding here and allows them to make plans for the future, according to Hull.

“The economy is strong and continues to be evolving here and I think the future is looking very bright for Cranbrook.”