Event inspires more research in Ukee

A recent tour through Ucluelet’s businesses community has district officials looking at strategies to benefit local businesses. BC Minister of Small Business Naomi Yamamoto recently visited Ucluelet to speak with local business owners along with members of Ucluelet’s municipal council and chamber representatives.

“It’s almost impossible to drag (Yamamoto) from business to business because there’s an awful lot to offer both in the sense of what we can present to the minister but also what we can challenge her to do to assist small business,” said Ucluelet Mayor Bill Irving.

The group was split into five teams to reach each business and Ucluelet councillor Randy Oliwa said his team covered about five businesses from The Place to Far West Foods.

“It was a real eye opener; it was well received on both ends,” Oliwa said. “Being that it was our first attempt at this we didn’t know what to expect; the businesses were so responsive and so happy to see us.”

He said each business owner was asked a list of five questions and while responses varied he picked up some repetitive themes.

“I definitely recognized in our section that there was some very fundamental key messages that were being repeated through every one of those businesses,” he said.

“One of the main overlapping comments was the traffic speed going by that area; people are not slowing down as they’re coming into town.”

Mayor Bill Irving believes the conversations created valuable bricks for a commerce-supporting foundation.

“People were a little concerned about rhetoric rather than reality so the follow up I believe is going to be compiled by their staff and the chamber and that would be an excellent catalyst for strategic discussions,” he said. Irving noted the district is hoping to sit down with the businesses operating in Ucluelet’s Village Square and asked staff to try to set up a meeting within the next two weeks.

reporter@westerlynews.ca