Oceanside Initiatives is a collaboration of community business stakeholders in the Oceanside region, focusing on business retention and expansion programs, regional data collection and analytics. The plan will focus on programs and projects that give businesses the tools they need to expand, develop and establish an economic development structure for the Parksville Qualicum Beach region with a focus on business retention, expansion and attraction.In November 2019, a Memorandum of Understanding between Lighthouse Country Business Association, Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce, Parksville Downtown Business Association, Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism Association and the Qualicum Beach Chamber of Commerce was developed to support a cooperative relationship to promote business and tourism in the Oceanside region. The partners agreed to focus their collective efforts on developing a strategic plan identifying economic drivers, developing a position statement on business attraction, growth and retention, and promoting economic development in the region. To have a successful economic development strategy in place, the partners recognized working together on common goals better served the community and a stronger regional economy. The partners’ next steps included establishing an Oceanside Initiatives office and hiring a project manager. In January 2020, with funding provided by the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction’s Community and Employer Partnership (CEP) fund, the Oceanside Initiatives office opened, a project manager was hired and three participants are being provided with full-time work experience for the duration of the project. Additionally, space within the Oceanside Initiatives office is allocated to a co-working office space with opportunities for long-term, short-term, drop in desk space, business incubation opportunities, as well as two meeting rooms and administrative supports. With multi-purpose on-site meeting rooms, smaller organizations or home-based businesses can conduct interviews, presentations and other private meetings providing another way the Oceanside Initiatives office will support business in the region.
For more information:
- Corry Gervais, Economic Development Coordinator and Project Manager