Nanaimo’s economy arrived at a ‘sweet spot’ over the last 18 months allowing the business community to boast its lowest unemployment rate in decades and a healthy, growing GDP. Our population is noted to have passed the 100,000 mark evidenced by the release of 2016 census data. We’re seeing signs of that growth in burgeoning building and development statistics.

2019 will go on record as having the highest value of building permits issued in the city’s history. The work to keep pace with demand on real estate partially fuels the growing economy, as much as the people moving here create new business. Major projects by the Port of Nanaimo, Vancouver Island University and the growth of the health care community are some of the major moves.

It’s the perfect time for Nanaimo to take on new endeavours in managing this growth and targeting specific sectors and industries to harness future prosperity. Economic development generates wealth and provides opportunities across the socio-economic spectrum enhancing the quality of life for the whole population.

Targeting economic development efforts at the kind of businesses we want to see grow in Nanaimo is vital to managing a healthy future for ourselves, our kids and grandkids. Aiming our sights on clean, green businesses that employ numbers of people in family-sustaining careers is an obvious goal, and preparing our community to welcome, support, and retain these kinds of businesses is essential to economic development.

Nanaimo is embarking on new economic development initiatives. After a rocky experience with its municipal corporation – the NEDC—City Council is identifying new ways to manage the future. Actions are currently underway that will see a much more active role by Council, civil servants, community economic development stakeholders like the Chamber to take advantage of this ‘sweet spot’.

Now is the time to direct actions and investments towards attracting business outside of our community to consider Nanaimo for entrepreneurial startups, relocation of established businesses and expansion of those already in place. Nanaimo’s new economic development activities are destined to do just that.

Safety, Service, and Reliability

Congratulations West Coast Helicopters on winning the award for best in Builders and Trades in the 2019 Nanaimo Business Awards!  West Coast Helicopters offers a versatile aerial approach to support remote construction jobs across Vancouver Island.  Whether it be moving crews, slinging construction material or pouring concrete, West Coast Helicopters always finds a way to get the job done.  Their maintenance staff has also provided reliable and professional service to many other helicopter outfits over the years.

“It was a great honour for all of us at West Coast Helicopters to receive this award.  We have serviced the builders and trades community of greater Nanaimo for more than 20 years now and to be recognized in this way brings a great deal of pride to our team.  Showcasing this award on our front desk and across our social media platforms has reinforced what our committed clientele has already come to know of our service.”

West Coast Helicopters has grown so much as a company and would love to extend their services into the tourism industry here in Nanaimo.  They know of the growth and potential within the tourism sector and believe they “can offer a very exciting element to any tour package looking for a beautiful thrill!”

Check out their website at www.westcoasthelicopters.com, like them on Facebook at West Coast Helicopters Maintenance & Contracting Ltd., or follow them on Instagram at @westcoasthelicopters!

Click here to download PDF.

It starts a little earlier every year, but by Canada Day our city is into festivals and special events full swing! It’s become part of our rising brand – a city of special events and entertainment. From our parks and waterfront, to our downtown streets and event venues, there are not many idle nights or weekends until we head back to school in the fall.

What started as a way to raise a little money for our hospital and show support for breast cancer victims and survivors has turned into one of the city’s biggest events – the Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival on the weekend after Canada Day. Slightly more than two dozen boats showed up the first year, and now we often see up to 80 teams competing over the weekend. Almost every hotel room in the city is booked for visitors to this event that welcomes international guests as well as locals. Restaurants, bars, and shops fill up and tens of thousands of dollars are raised annually in this celebration with every penny going to the fight against breast cancer at NRGH. The financial impact of this one event on our community is massive.

Just one weekend later and Nanaimo returns to the waterfront at Maffeo-Sutton Park for the annual Silly Boat Regatta. Over $110,000 was raised for Nanaimo’s Child Development Centre last year, a goal sure to be surpassed with participation increasing annually. Businesses and organizations

© 2019 HA Photography, 2019 Nanaimo Silly Boat Regatta.

compete to raise funds and then collaborate to build all forms of wacky craft and race out to a marker buoy and back without sinking. Fortunately, for the fun of the audience, not that many make it. There are all sorts of fundraising events attached to the day and it seems like most of Nanaimo’s population is in the park.

The following week it’s the annual celebration of the spirit of Nanaimo at the Marine Festival and World Championship Bathtub Race which draws throngs of visitors from outside of Nanaimo to figure out what makes us want to race bathtubs on our waterfront – a spectacle created by none other than our famous Mayor “Black Frank” Ney. They might not figure it out but they’ll have a ton of fun trying and leave a lot of money at Nanaimo businesses in the meantime.

Space here prevents me from mentioning much about things like Thursday evening’s Commercial Street Night Market, Concerts in the Park, Infringing Dance Festival, Wheel-o-Rama Festival, VIEX, Fringe Festival, Summertime Blues Festival, the Red Bull Pump Track World Championship Qualifier…

The point is – Nanaimo is turning into a city of festivals and it’s making cash registers ring while we put smiles on people’s faces and emerge as an Island leader in how to celebrate summer.

SUMMER NIGHT MARKET CELEBRATES DOWNTOWN NANAIMO


The Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce is turning Commercial Street into a pedestrian mall every Thursday evening again hosting artisan vendors, entertainers, food and fun for Nanaimo families this summer.

The inaugural Night Market event is June 20, followed by 11 Thursday night celebrations. Commercial Street from Terminal Avenue to Church & Chapel Streets will be closed to cars as artisan vendor booths, crafters, food producers, and downtown merchants line the streets offering food, crafts, beverages, farm to fork, entertainment, curios and whatever our 100+ quality vendors offer.

Visit the Food Truck Circle on Diana Krall Plaza alongside local beverage purveyors sampling amidst the market farm atmosphere. Downtown restaurants and cafés are extending their hospitality to the street. Live entertainment is presented at the Plaza Stage as well as the Modern Café on ‘Upper Commercial Street’ and in surprise pockets throughout the market site.

Family activities, bouncy castles, face painting and wall-climbing are included. For a more leisurely pace follow the self-guided Art Walk through downtown’s galleries and shops highlighting local arts and culture. Or just mix it up in the fun and colour of the Commercial Street Night Market!

Come on down just to experience the hospitality and meet the friendly faces of the downtown business community and the festive Night Market atmosphere every Thursday all summer long. It’s a huge hit! www.nanaimonight.market

For more information:

KIM SMYTHE: 250-756-1191

We are so excited to announce that we have new branding.  Showcasing our new look we commissioned Box221 Digital Studios (a local marketing company) to handle all of our new look!

With the new changes we have had made to the website making it easier for our members to access information, we also offer a new member spotlight advertising option.

At Box 221, every person is different, every business too.  They don’t like cookie cutter approaches to business and neither should you – you deserve better!  They  work with you to create the best bang possible options for you.

PS: I invite you to send me an email and tell me about our new look and let me know if you have any ideas about doing it better or differently.
ceo@nanaimochamber.bc.ca

 

1. INVESTING IN YOURSELF STRENGTHENS THE COMMUNITY

Help to nurture a strong business climate in Greater Nanaimo that supports attracting and retaining the best and brightest operators, employees, customers, and investors.

2. NETWORK FOR FUN AND PROFIT

Maximize your business prospects by connecting socially with customers and suppliers and creating new connections at our many effective, high-energy networking events.

3. HAVE A VOICE WITH GOVERNMENT
Your Chamber of Commerce has a vital role with government as an advocate and ‘thought’ and policy leader for business interests in the Nanaimo region. It is perhaps the most behind-the-scenes, and most important, role your Chamber plays – fighting for the success of our business community through reduced government interference while optimizing their support.

4. GAIN POWERFUL ONLINE SUPPORT
Your business is most likely to appear on the first pages of internet search engines by being part of the Chamber’s online business directory.

5. TARGET YOUR MARKETING TO MEMBERS

Promote your business cost-effectively to the Chamber membership, representing a large core of stable businesses already dedicated to the local economy.

6. GET YOUR INFORMATION CLOSER TO THE SOURCE

Position yourself to be proactive by learning about new developments, policy changes and trends from high-level sources through Chamber connections which are passed along through our communications tools.

7. ENJOY DISCOUNTED BUSINESS SERVICES
Our negotiated member-to-member and other cost saving deals will help reduce your day-to-day expenses – from insurance to payroll services, group health to gas and merchant card services.

8. YOU CAN INFLUENCE CHAMBER POLICY
As a member, your voice is important and what you say impacts Chamber policy. Chamber directors you elect will listen to the issues that most deeply impact your business, creating policies that guide the Chamber’s advocacy efforts and work plans.

9. GET SMART
Keep your skills sharp by attending our business seminars and professional development workshops.

10. PROMOTE YOURSELF
Share your company’s news through our weekly ‘Newsline’ newsletter, social media and email outs.