Bringing the business community together

Brandi Schier – Publisher

One of the most interesting parts of living in Sun Peaks is the fact we are a young community that’s still growing into itself. People are coming and going, deciding to settle in or move on, and bringing their ideas and life experiences with them.

In the last census, Sun Peaks was the fastest growing municipality in the province, and we can see evidence of this population increase in the number of new students, record breaking real estate sales and also in the number of newly established businesses.

Most Sun Peaks businesses rely on tourism dollars, however some new entrepreneurs are beginning to sense the growing resident market and launching more service based businesses. And many more are establishing themselves as consultants, freelancers or telecommuters, setting up home based opportunities.

It’s exciting to see people identifying gaps in the community and investing their time, energy and resources into addressing them. But with so many new business professionals in Sun Peaks, one gap that remains is how we aren’t always coming together as a business community.

Throughout the last several months, myself and my friend Caroline Thompson asked the business owners and entrepreneurs in Sun Peaks how we can address this gap, and the answers have been thoughtful, sometimes surprising, but consistently enthusiastic. As always in this Sun Peaks, people were ready to contribute and help shape their community into their collective vision.

We clearly heard our strengths—passion, diversity of knowledge and entrepreneurial spirit. But we also heard frustrations such as a lack of collective voice, fragmented communication, and isolation in dealing with resort town realities such as seasonality and employee turnover.

But loudest of all came the call to meet opportunities. Opportunities for networking, collaboration and mentorship. Opportunities to be sustainable, innovative and strategic. Opportunities to come together to continue to shape Sun Peaks into a healthy, thriving and welcoming mountain town.

While we are still analyzing all the answers, consulting experts and listening to the business community, we hope to incorporate a new nonprofit association to give a voice and collective purpose to the business community by the spring. We are currently making the decision regarding the model that will best serve our unique needs, whether it be a chamber of commerce or economic development chapter, or as is usually the case in Sun Peaks, an ad hoc solution blending the best what’s out there.

In the meantime we are still inviting the community to let us know their thoughts, feedback and ideas. Please email brandi@sunpeaksnews.com if you’d like to chat or if you’re a business person who hasn’t yet filled out the survey.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our efforts so far and has had patience with ensuring we set this up correctly from the outset. Stay

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