Barriers still slowing business down, Chamber says

The majority of Cranbrook businesses find that there are still barriers to business, a Chamber survey found.

  • May. 6, 2014 9:00 a.m.

The majority of Cranbrook businesses find that there are still barriers to business, a Chamber survey found.

Last week, the Cranbrook and District Chamber of Commerce released its Phase II report summarizing the results of the Barriers to Business survey recently undertaken by a sample of its members.

Many of the 17 businesses surveyed found difficulties dealing with the city, with an average of 3.2 out of 10 for overall experience.

The report includes written summaries of the responses to survey questions, along with numeric assessments of the clarity of processes, timing and costs for doing business in the community.

“Rather than focusing on individual experiences, we looked for common themes; areas where experiences were positive or negative,” said Dave Butler, Chamber president. “The survey results show us there’s lots of work to do yet to ensure we have a welcoming atmosphere for business.”

The survey is a key part of the Chamber’s on-going efforts to improve the business climate in Cranbrook and surrounding area. It’s a follow-up to an initial survey and report conducted by the Chamber in 2012 that identified a number of concerns regarding the local business climate.

The businesses were surveyed in November and December of 2013 and the businesses noted that they have a diverse interaction with the city, including building new businesses, discussing conceptual designs and providing services to the city under contract.

Businesses said they dealt with mostly the Engineering and Planning departments of the city, while a few dealt with the fire department, Corporate Services and Public Works.

The majority of respondents expressed frustration with dealing with the city, finding it to be a negative experience overall due to inconsistencies, delays and lack of responsiveness. Some businesses suggested that they felt they succeeded only because they knew who to talk to to get things done.

Many businesses said they would not work with the city again if they didn’t have to.

Butler noted that members of the Chamber executive recently met with Mayor Wayne Stetski and senior city staff to review the results of the survey and discuss ways for the city to improve the experience for new and existing businesses. Butler said the City provided a progress report on the changes it’s making to improve the environment for business.

Butler said it is encouraging that the mayor and senior staff recognize the challenge and are initiating changes based on the Chamber’s suggestions.  For example, Butler noted changes to the way City departments communicate with each other, training its staff toward an enhanced customer service philosophy, as well as creating greater clarity in processes, timing and costs for business-related permits.

Butler said the Chamber will keep working with the City, recognizing that change doesn’t happen overnight.

“We’re looking for members of the business community to let us know what they think of what the City is doing to improve the situation,” he said. “What’s missing from the City’s list? Are you seeing a difference?”

The Cranbrook and District Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business in this area.

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

1914
It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

Cranbrook Arts has opened the doors of their  new gallery space to the public with their inaugural exhibit, Kootenay’s Best.
‘Kootenay’s Best’ opens Cranbrook Arts’ new gallery

This exhibit has been in the works for the past several months and features the work of more than 50 emerging and established artists from across the Kootenays

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Most Read