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. 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
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.
On Monday Oct 24, 2016, 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 came together to begin the planning process. Jesse Willicome, the new local Community Initiative Consultant, helped to coordinate this event.
The attendees were brought up to speed on tourism trends and presented visitors statistics for our area. The MRTP (Municipal and Regional Tax Program) was explained, as well as the available COOP programs, for future consideration. The workshop also included exercises where attendees identified who was visiting and why they visit. Attendees also identified unique local attractions that could be further developed into tourism offerings.
For more information contact Jesse Willicome at firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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