Livelihoods are made in a variety of ways. Most people are doing what they love. The stats indicate that one in five work from home as telecommuter or are as a mobile worker with a home office. With all our wonderful outdoor recreation it is no wonder we are seeing the introduction of Digital Nomad workers making the Kootenays there next home. Also, there is room here for more entrepreneurs, especially to fill gaps in the service industry. Opportunities also exist in forestry and agriculture. At any given time there are business owners ready to retire, waiting for someone to take over for them. Also, the nature of this community supports businesses that have wholesome natural brands. Creston's community action plan is age friendly and demonstrates a willingness to progress and accountability. For further insight into Creston's community and business culture read the Official Community Plan 2016 (OCP report).
Relocating a business here may also lower costs. With a new high speed fiber optic network in Creston (and high-speed in hamlets), good roads, the USA border within minutes, inexpensive land and housing, local and regional airports nearby, doing business from the valley is easy. Employment is primarily in the resource sector including forestry and agriculture (including value added products), plus the public sector, service and retail industries and some light manufacturing. Columbia Brewery, Wynndel Lumber (owned by Canfor) and JH Huscroft lumber are large employers. The College of the Rockies - Creston Campus responds to labour needs with programs, as does Kootenay Employment Services (KES) also the ES Learning Hub. Many people retire here with a wealth of knowledge that when applied to local projects, their skills become transferable to the local people.
Creston Valley Airport CAJ3
Basin Business Opportunities
The Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) is well positioned to partner in business.
The RFEI invitation is the equivalent of a broad brainstorming session across the region. They really want to hear about ideas and concepts about what can be done and how it is possible that it can come together.
They want to partner with:
CBT has created this webinar to help residents in the region understand the opportunity they are presenting to local business and entrepreneurs. April 11, 2018
Tourism has always played a role in the local economy but not nearly to the same degree as it is in the busy Okanogan Valley. Only because tourism is underdeveloped here. Instead of us having visitors that expect to be catered to like the Okanogan tourists, we have visitors that want to discover for them selves the real thing. Real live experiences that are authentic and natural. There are ample tourism opportunities available here for the entrepreneur. The Creston Valley and Kootenay Lake Visitor Information Centers can fill you in on who is visiting and when they visit.
The following ways attract tourists:
Creston Valley and East Shore Kootenay Lake are focused on developing a tourism sector, beyond what is naturally occurring.
Since Oct 24, 2016, when the Creston Area Tourism Workshop took place the Town of Creston with RDCK Areas A, B, C, Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, Kootenay Rockies Tourism and representatives from local businesses and organizations have come together to plan and now implement those plans. Jesse Willicome, the new local Community Initiative Consultant, has been busy working with local business volunteers on a Creston Valley and Kootenay Lake Route program to help visitors get the most out of their stay here.
Together Stronger - Economic Development
Up until lately the local economy has grown organically with no organized effort to attract or retain business, other than individual efforts made from time to time. Now however, the local directors for Areas A, B, C and the Town of Creston have along with their local business volunteers and consultants developed an economic action strategy under that banner “Stronger Together” and also know as EAP (Economic Action Partnership).
Briefly, the vision is for the communities of Creston Valley – south Kootenay Lake to work together to ensure a thriving local economy that is inclusive, supports a high quality of life and builds on strengths in agriculture, tourism and recreation, and small business.
Five pillars of economic actions and projects have been identified to help reach the economic objectives of this area. These pillars are: Tourism and Recreation Development, Local Business Matters, Agriculture, Quality of Life (resident attraction), and New Directions (i.e. tech and emerging sectors).
On April 16th 2019 Rural Dividend Funds announced their $321,200 contribution towards this Stronger Together initiative meant to help with needed human resources.
Growing B.C. Agrifoods
"BRITISH COLUMBIA’S AGRIFOODS SECTOR IS ONE OF THE MOST DIVERSE IN CANADA. It provides the province with a competitive advantage and a wide range of opportunities for growth and innovation in agriculture, commercial fishing, aquaculture and food and beverage processing. In 2014 the agrifoods sector generated almost $12.3 billion in total revenue, representing a 5.9 per cent increase from 2013. On its own, food and beverage manufacturing, the second largest manufacturing sector in the province, generated almost $8.5 billion in revenue.
Our agrifoods sector has more than 300 primary, high-quality food and seafood products. Responding to domestic and international demands, B.C. produces niche products such as ethnic and organic foods, herbal and botanical products and craft-brewed spirits." - www.engage.gov.bc.ca Feb.29/16
Farm to Fork
Its wonderful to see the work our community is doing to capitalize on what this area is naturally good at - growing food.
"The Committee’s first initiative, Fields Forward, is a partnership program to boost economic development in the agri-food sector and improve local food security. The idea is not to replace existing efforts, but to link groups and projects, making it easier for them to do their own work and reach shared goals." Click here to find out more about Fields Forward .
Fields Forward Initiative in Creston Valley,
Feb 22, 2016 MLA Michelle Mungall
Support for hiring and training employees
"Learn about the Canada-B.C. Job Grant program and how it can benefit employers wanting to train existing staff and hire new employees. You’ll also find the latest updates to the program.
The Canada-B.C. Job Grant is an employer-driven, cost-sharing program that helps employers invest in training for their current or future employees. The Grant assists eligible employers to offset the cost of training, with the employer contributing one-third of the cost of training. "
- Work BC Feb. 29/16
Area A Addresses It's Future
Area A, Riondel to Wynndel communities along the east shore of the south arm of the Kootenay Lake has noticed a decline in full time residents and an increase in seasonal residents. The community recently came together to discuss the impact of this situation and to address resident retention and attraction, and also to learn more about what is happening in this expansive community. The event was sponsored by the RDCK Area A Economic Development Commission. This edited video of the spring event was produced by KBTV Westword Communications. Another event focused on going deeper with this topic is planned for September 29th 2018 at the Boswell Hall.
Immigrating and satisfying work requirements
"Economic growth in B.C. depends on people – on having the qualified workers and entrepreneurs we need to meet labour market and economic development demands and ensure the continued prosperity of our province. Immigration plays an important role in helping B.C. meet current and future labour market shortages.
The BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) offers an economic immigration pathway for in demand foreign workers and experienced entrepreneurs who can contribute economically to the province." - Work BC - Feb.29/16
Make money and give back.
An excerpt from an article in the Small Business section of the Globe and Mail written by Brenda Boew:
“British Columbia is making it easier for do-gooders to make money and give back to the community by setting up a new business model which is also aimed at attracting socially conscious investors.
B.C.’s so-called Community Contribution Company (C3) caps a company’s profit at 40 per cent, even after the business is sold. The remainder goes to social causes, which can range from homeless shelters to recycling programs.
The province is the first in Canada to introduce the new corporation category, with Nova Scotia expected to soon follow.”
Creston and area is presently operating social enterprises that are making a positive impact in the community.
January 2018 Bylaw 1860 - This program is designed for the development of new commercial businesses or the redevelopment of existing commercial businesses. The main reason for creating this program is to continue supporting economic revitalization ans growth of town and build on the success of prior initiatives and stimulate investment opportunities.