Indications are that 2018 is going to be a good year for Penticton.
Anthony Haddad, Penticton’s director of development services, said there have already been 76 new business licence applications approved by the city, and the increased building activity in 2017 is carrying on into this year.
“Typically, the activity within the planning department sets the scene for future and subsequent years of development activity in the city,” said Haddad. “We’re seeing it now in the first two months of the year with increased building permit activity in a number of different sectors.
“People looking at relocating to the community and sharing with the different sectors of our economy.”
Jen Vincent, on the city’s economic development team, also reported increased confidence in the business sector working with the city and other stakeholders.
“We already work closely as a department, and as a city, with many of the key stakeholder groups in the community,” said Vincent. “There are many more stakeholder groups, which are working really hard in community development, that we can and should and would like to be working with.”
Vincent said they had a meeting with community partners on March 1 to determine whether there was interest in building a working group. Fifteen people representing 11 organizations attended, including Community Futures, the Downtown Penticton Association, Okanagan College and Travel Penticton along with representatives from both the Penticton Indian Band and the PIB Development Corporation.
All the groups, she said, agreed this was an initiative they were in support of, and there was more to be talked about.
The Penticton Indian Band have invited us to host the next meeting in late April, early May on their lands,” said Vincent. “We’re excited about the year ahead and what that means for working together as a community.”
The economic development team is releasing the results of a survey they conducted with local businesses, adding that there has been a side effect from the survey.
“Since the launch of that survey process inquiries from those local businesses have increased, which indicates that there is a confidence that the economic development department is there and willing to help where possible,” said Vincent.