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  • Writer's pictureJesse Brown

Supporting Ganges Village and Local Tourism

Updated: May 21

Did you know that the LCC will have responsibility for CRD’s economic development activities like tourism promotion and encouraging Ganges Village vibrancy?

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the BIABC annual conference in Victoria BC. It was a great experience and I even had the chance to talk with David Eby about Salt Spring!

Business Improvement Areas (BIA) are common in many downtowns, including in smaller towns like Salmon Arm and Nelson. Property owners and businesses come together and ask the municipality to collect a levy on their behalf to ensure the area is clean and beautiful, support marketing initiatives such as promos and events, and ultimately drive more business to villages. This encourages more retailers, restaurants, and small businesses to open up and a robust thriving local economy.

So how come we don’t have this great service for our community and economy here Salt Spring Island?

The answer is that we are not a municipality. “But there has to be a way to do this at the CRD”. There isn’t. The only similar way is to create another services area, and another commission that needs to be voted on in an Island-wide referendum. Frustrating, to say the least.

There will be those that might disagree, but trust me on this issue as I studied it closely having worked as executive director at the Chamber of Commerce and then as an economic sustainability coordinator at CRD Salt Spring. Silver lining is that we have a Chamber of Commerce that has taken the lead where a BIA normally would.

I promise if elected to support the Chamber of Commerce in their initiatives to support Ganges Village Vibrancy. I also support Salt Spring Island tourism promotion and the valuable work of the Visitor Center. I know the economic development budget at the CRD very well, and I know that we should be doing more to support the Chamber and Salt Spring Tourism in their efforts to make our island thrive.

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