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Revelstoke Development News – Fall 2015 Newsletter

Community Economic Development

The Community Economic Development (CED) Department is funded by the City of Revelstoke and the CSRD Area B. The purpose of the Department is to implement the goals and objectives identified by the community in the Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP). The Department has been working on the following initiatives over the past few months.

Tourism

Staff continue to work with local groups and agencies to develop tourism infrastructure projects to enhance the tourism product in Revelstoke. During the past summer, funds from the Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) were allocated to the Revy Riders Dirt Bike Club to complete their track facility on Westside Road; to the Revelstoke Snowmobile Club to assist with the development of a Welcoming Centre and equipment storage facility, also on Westside Road; to the Revelstoke Golf Club to undertake improvements to the golf course; to the Revelstoke ATV Club to improve trails on Sproat Mountain; and to the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre to complete the park in front of their building and install a major piece of public art at the same location. These and other RMI projects helped Revelstoke to attract increasing numbers of tourists to Revelstoke, which is very positive for the local economy.

Food Security Strategy

The CED Department, in partnership with a number of other stakeholder groups, including Community Connections, the North Columbia Environmental Society, Interior Health and local food producers, completed a Food Security Strategy earlier this year. The Strategy identified a number of objectives to help increase local food production and support local groups and agencies that are seeking to increase access to nutritious food for local residents. With support from Columbia Basin Trust, Community Connections has agreed to hire a Food Security Coordinator, Melissa Hemphill, whose primary task will be to implement the Food Security Strategy.

Business Retention & Expansion

The CED Department, in partnership with Community Futures Revelstoke and the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce, completed a Business Retention and Expansion Initiative earlier this summer. The project involved a comprehensive survey of 135 local businesses to determine the health of the businesses, identify any barriers to growth and expansion, and identify any immediate actions that could be taken to improve the operation of the business.

Businesses reported that the overall business climate in Revelstoke was good; 58% of respondents reported that the market for their product or service is increasing; and 82% of respondents reported that the overall health of their company was excellent or good; and the majority of respondents indicated they believed the business climate would improve over the next five years. A public meeting to report on the findings of the Business Retention and Expansion Initiative will be held at noon on Tuesday October 20, 2015 at the Begbie Room in the Regent Hotel. Call 250-837-5345 to reserve a spot.  The CED Department, Community Futures Revelstoke and the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce will be working collaboratively to implement many of the recommendations included in the final project report.

Revelstoke Social Development Committee

The Social Development Committee is an Advisory Committee to Revelstoke City Council.  The Committee provides input to the work plan of the Social Development Coordinator, Jill Zacharias, who is contracted to the City of Revelstoke and reports to the Director of Community Economic Development.

Jill works to address community-wide social issues through planning and bringing together community partners to work on related strategies and projects. Jill also supports social sector organizations and non-profits in Revelstoke by bringing in training opportunities, helping out with grant writing, and connecting groups with potential resources. Since 2008, $460,000 has been brought in to support 30 different social projects in the community.

For more information about Social Development & to see our new ‘Infographic’ check out www.revelstokesocialdevelopment.org
Want to get involved? Contact Jill Zacharias, Social Development Coordinator by email at e.jill.zacharias@gmail.com
Supporting Children & Youth

We are excited to announce that Revelstoke now has our own Child & Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Collaborative Local Action Team! The Ministry of Health and Doctors of BC (Shared Care BC) jointly fund this provincial initiative. The goal is to increase the number of children, youth and their families receiving timely access to integrated mental health and substance use services and supports throughout the province. Locally, this deepens and expands work that our ad hoc committee was already doing. Now we have even more resources to coordinate prevention and awareness activities in elementary schools and RSS, training for School District staff & service providers, as well as work together to create a system that supports those who need it most. Many thanks to Sheena Bell, who worked hard over the summer months on an MSW research project that helped our team set clear priorities for moving forward.  As well, kudos to School District #19 and others for being such great community partners. Interested in learning more? Contact our LAT Project Manager, Jewelles Smith, at jewelles.smith@gmail.com.

Welcome Week

The 4th annual Welcome Week – Connecting Newcomers and the Community will take place November 23 to 28. This is an opportunity to showcase our town and inspire newcomers to participate in the community and connect with services. The Community Dinner and Volunteer Fair will be held Thursday November 26, 2015. Come on down!

Affordable Housing

The provision of affordable housing in Revelstoke has been identified as a high community priority for several years.  The City of Revelstoke created the Revelstoke Community Housing Society to help the city to develop affordable housing.  The Society was successful in obtaining grant funding from BC Housing and CBT to help with the construction costs of affordable housing in Revelstoke.

The Revelstoke Community Housing Society broke ground on the project this spring, and construction of the 12 rental townhouse units on city land along Oscar Street is well underway.  The units will be rented to Revelstoke residents who qualify for affordable housing, i.e. their income is below a certain threshold, they are Revelstoke residents, and they demonstrate a need for affordable housing.  Application packages for the new units will be made available later this year.  These units will be a valuable addition to the stock of affordable housing units in the community.

Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber, Visitor Centre and Tourism had a busy summer!  Our number of visitors served continues to increase (stats below) and we are fortunate to receive daily accolades and amazement on the beauty of our community and parks! The efforts of our Tourism Revelstoke team, Meghan Tabor and Thom Tischik are paying off with more visitors, from further afar, making Revelstoke their destination and staying more nights, particularly over the summer months.

Chamber of Commerce Vision: “We represent our member’s interests in promoting the progress and development of Revelstoke in order to make it a better place in which to do business, live, work and play.”

A series of Coffee Talks was held throughout August and September regarding the proposed bylaw amendments requested for a new highway mall development*and the “Revelstoke Next 3 Exits” project, improving the gateways to our community and the Victoria Road intersection.  The Chamber will submit a report and action plan to council in January for gateway improvements.
*Chamber’s submission to council at the public hearing is available on www.revelstokechamber.com

The 22nd Annual Awards Banquet and celebration is November 7, 2015.  This is also the date of the 130th anniversary of the last spike and we will be honouring this momentous occasion with the help of the Railway Museum team!  On-line nominations are open (link to form on www.revelstokechamber.com) and are open until October 9!  Alternatively, you can nominate in any category, by sending an e-mail to info@revelstokechamber.com.  Please take a moment to tell us why the nominee is best suited for the award!  Banquet tickets are on sale now at the Business Information Centre, Monday to Friday 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.

Basin Business Advisor Program

After two years in my position as the North Basin Business Advisor, I still get stopped on the street and asked “Roberta, where do you work now?” Also, I am hearing people really don’t understand what the Basin Business Advisors (BBA) program offers.
I am based out of the Community Futures Revelstoke office but I am now employed by Community Futures Central Kootenay (Nelson). As the BBA for the north region, I cover Revelstoke, Golden, Field, Valemount and Nakusp. The travelling, meeting with people and giving workshops are my favourite parts of my job as I am meeting so many amazing people on my travels.

Owners of existing businesses in the Columbia Basin, including social enterprises, can access the BBA program, which provides free, one-to-one, confidential business counselling and assessment services. A business advisor can provide business counselling, a detailed assessment report of the business and an in-depth financial analysis of the business… and it is FREE. Following the completion of the assessment, the advisor may recommend the services of business consultant to provide further analysis and recommendations on a specific area of business management. The BBA program provides a contribution to the cost of consulting.   To participate in the program, the business or social enterprise MUST be headquartered in the Basin, actively conducting business and earning business income and in compliance with all Canadian laws and regulations.

The BBA program also offers Me Inc. Workshops for those who are “thinking” about self-employment. Check out our website www.bbaprogram.ca for more information on the workshops, how to register and more.
I am also the Invest Kootenay (IK) local resource person/BBA liaison. If you are selling a business or looking to purchase a business, we can help you. For more information on IK, please feel free to contact me or check out the website www.investkootenay.com.

Community Futures

Community Futures Revelstoke is proud to be working with the School District in delivering entrepreneurship training to our local youth. These programs are Junior Achievement and Junior Dragon’s Den. We will be seeking business people who are willing to work with youth as mentors and volunteers in the delivery of these programs. The following is a summary of the two programs:

Junior Dragon’s Den

Modeled after CBC’s “The Dragons’ Den”, where qualifying entrepreneurs pitch their business idea to a group of potential investors, Junior Dragons’ Den is a Columbia Basin wide initiative and call to action for student entrepreneurs from Grade 8 to College level, to create their own summer job/ business, or to expand an existing one. Students are required to submit a business concept paper for their business idea, or their business improvement idea (in the case of an existing business).  The concept paper speaks to the: who, what, where, when, how, why and start-up costs associated with the business concept, finishing off with why the applicant should be chosen to compete in Junior Dragons Den. The applicant selection process is solely based upon the merits of the business concept paper submitted. This “blind audition” style of submission is designed to remove all possible bias from the selection process. The top 5 applicants from each category (Junior & Senior, and University/ College/ Trades) will advance to the competition and each be assigned a mentor from the local business community.  Each applicant business will be featured online, as well as through a variety of social and traditional media outlets leading up to the final competition and show. The top five applicants from each category will then work on refining their business concept into a formal one page business plan, plus financial statements (outline and template to be provided), as well as create and submit an updated Video elevator pitch for their business. Mentors’ will assist with everything from start-up considerations and marketing, to coaching & presentation skills. Arts Centre.

These Junior Dragons’ will then pitch their business idea in one of three regional shows in front of a live audience and panel of local business leaders (‘The Dragons’)! The Regional Dragon’s Den competition in Revelstoke will be April 14, 2016 at the Revelstoke Performing Winners will be selected based upon:

80% input from our Dragons’ (the judges)

20% audience participation through ballots / voting

The First, second and third place winners from each Junior Dragons’ age category, will receive cash prizes & awards to go toward the start-up costs of their respective business, or to expand their existing business. The winners from each Regional competition automatically advance to the Junior Dragons Den Championship, which will be held Saturday April 30, 2016 at the Charles Bailey Theatre in Trail, BC.

Register Now for Junior Dragon’s Den 2016 by completing an application form at Revelstoke Secondary and submit at the RSS office or the Business Information Centre at 301 Victoria Road West.

Junior Achievement

The world’s largest not-for-profit organization dedicated to educating young people about business. With over 120 charters worldwide, they partner with educators, donors and volunteers to bring a real world experience into the classroom. The programs give students the confidence and skills they need to become the next generation of business and community leaders. Community Futures Revelstoke is coordinating the delivery of Junior Achievement programs this year to Grades 6/7, 8 and 10.

Spirit of Revelstoke Award

The Spirit of Revelstoke Award – Anyone can nominate a Revelstoke resident whom they feel is making a significant volunteer contribution to our community. Nominees can be any age, and nominations will be received for this year’s awards until November 6, 2015. Submit a nomination at http://communityfuturesrevelstoke.com/volunteering/. Awards are announced at the Community Dinner and Volunteer Fair held on Thursday, November 26.

 

 

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About the Author : Cindy Maloney

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