Category Archives: Initiatives

Creating an Economic Development Strategy for Ladysmith

Five leading organizations with a vested interest in economic development in the Ladysmith area have received funding from the Island Coastal Economic Trust to create a single, comprehensive economic development strategy.

Joining your Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce in this endeavor are:

  • Economic Development Cowichan
  • Town of Ladysmith
  • Ladysmith Downtown Business Association
  • Stz’uminus First Nation

These groups have come together in a working partnership to create a Ladysmith Economic Development Strategy.

“Our organizations have established working relationships and we have many common areas of interest,” said Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce President Tammy Leslie. “This project will bring us all together under one banner, creating a common economic development vision and action plan, which we will then all help to implement with effective resource allocation.”

The project is receiving 50% of its funding from ICET, through the Strategic Planning stream of the Economic Development Readiness program.

“The challenge that this project overcomes is not uncommon in communities around our region,” said ICET Chair Phil Kent. “The Ladysmith region stakeholders have been collaborating for years, but this project will enable them to take those partnerships to the operational level, sharing resources and joint responsibility for implementation of the various pieces of the roadmap.”

“This is an exciting step in the collaborative efforts of the Town, CVRD, Stz’uminus, Chamber and the Downtown Business Association,” said Mayor Aaron Stone. “The funding from ICET, combined with that of the partners, will help focus our efforts to drive economic growth, job creation and tax diversity.”

Next steps for the project is to create a steering committee who will oversee the assessment of existing plans, priorities, and documents. The group will then engage community stakeholders in a consultation process, which will lead to the creation of the comprehensive implementation strategy.

The process gets underway in November with completion anticipated in late spring 2018.

For more information about the Economic Development Readiness program call the Chamber office at 250-245-2112.

Tourism Cowichan

Tourism Cowichan are the official DESTINATION MARKETING ORGANIZATION for the Cowichan region. Their mandate is to deliver destination marketing services for Cowichan in our primary markets of Victoria and Vancouver Island, the Lower mainland, Washington State and Alberta.

Tourism Cowichan

They are a non for profit stakeholder lead society. Their stakeholders are tourism businesses, organizations and individuals within the tourism industry. There is no membership fee to join. Members are able to leverage their own marketing budgets with us in order to increase and improve their presence in the tourism market.

How to be Involved

  1. Ensure you are a TCS stakeholder to receive a complimentary standard listing
  2. Purchase a premium listing for optimal placement and promotion. $400 annually or pro-rated (works out to about $30/month)!
  3. Submit any events through their Event page to be listed on the website, as well as potentially be highlighted on social media and their tourist facing newsletter
  4. Help share content through your social media channels
  5. Vote and encourage your guests to vote on Cowichan’s Top Ten
  6. Purchase an ad in their annual Visitor Guide, to be featured in the online copy of the guide

Sign up today!

Send your event!

How to Interact

  1. Connect: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Vimeo
  2. Tag them in your posts! Use #explorecowichan
  3. Share their content (blogs, videos, posts, photos) on your pages
  4. Send them your events or other newsworthy content and they would be happy to help promote

Stakeholder Benefits

  1. Complimentary standard listing on new website
  2. Opportunity to participate in Tourism Cowichan’s co-operative marketing programs
  3. Eligible for increased promotion through travel trade
  4. Eligible to participate in partner programs with RDMO’s
  5. Special rates and considerations for advertising and promotion (content creation, Visitors Guide)
  6. Access to Tourism Cowichan Marketing tool kit
  7. Eligible for complimentary promotion via website, content, social media and tourism facing e-newsletter
  8. Active stakeholders are eligible for Board positions, committee positions and can vote at any regular, annual or special general meeting

 

Canada 150 Window Decorating – Winner!

Canada 150 logoWe encouraged all businesses to decorate their business window(s) in the Canada 150 theme.

Canada 150 celebrations end at the end of December and it is great to see the ideas.

The winner was Royal LePage on the corner of Roberts and 1st Avenue with their “Canada 150 Tea Party” (thank you Jennifer) with notable mention to Salamander Books (thank you, Frieda).

NEWS RELEASE – Business Walk 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ladysmith, October 5, 2016 – Working in partnership, the Town of Ladysmith, the Ladysmith Downtown Business Association and the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce organized Ladysmith’s first Business Walk on Wednesday, June 22, 2016.

Business Walk

A “Business Walk” is a day dedicated to learning more about local businesses through face-to-face interviews. During Business Walk 2016, more than 30 local leaders and key community stakeholders went door-to-door surveying 94 businesses with the goal of gathering knowledge to help the business community and strengthen relationships.

When asked about the current state of their business, 59% of respondents indicated that their business was good/increasing, another 28% responded fair/steady and 13% of respondents indicating that their business was slow/poor.

During Business Walk 2016, a number of opportunities for helping businesses thrive were identified.  Survey respondents highlighted the need for help in finding skilled employees and the need to expand their customer base as key priorities. They also pointed to the need to examine property taxes and municipal regulations and their relationship to business development.  Creating increased parking opportunities, access to public washrooms, enhanced wayfaring signage and new communication and marketing tools for business also rose to the top as opportunities for demonstrating an “open for business” attitude in Ladysmith.

“On behalf of the Business Walk Steering Committee, I would like to thank all the business owners we spoke to for their honesty and participation,” said Guillermo Ferrero, Town of Ladysmith City Manager.  “With the information we now have, we can work together with and for local businesses to help them thrive, because their success is our community’s success.”

As partners on the Steering Committee consider how to move forward with the study findings, they’re aware of the need for continued collaboration and communication. On Tuesday, October 25th from 6:00 – 7:30 pm, Steering Committee Members will be hosting a Community Forum on Business and Economic Development at the Ladysmith Seniors Centre to give a report on the results of the Business Walk. At the meeting, committee members will also discuss the support programs and economic development initiatives taking place locally and regionally that can help act on business priorities.

“As one of the partners in this important initiative, the LDBA believe that a crucial piece of this process is reconnecting with the business community so that we can all move our town forward in a united, cohesive way,” said Paul Mycroft, LDBA President. “It’s one of the most important meetings of the year to attend if you want to be involved in the improvement of our future economic picture.”

Please call the Chamber of Commerce at (250) 245-2112 to reserve a seat – all are welcome but seating may be limited.

The Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce, established in 1930, is a voluntary organization of business and professional men and women working together for the purpose of promoting the civic, commercial, and industrial progress of their community.

For further details, or to obtain a copy of the report, please contact:

Mark Drysdale, Manager
Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce

T:  (250) 245-2112
F:  (250) 245-2124
E:  mark [at] ladysmithcofc [dot] com

Become a Stakeholder in Tourism Cowichan

Tourism Cowichan is pleased to provide information on research, marketing initiatives, and other resources of benefit to stakeholders.

Stakeholder Benefits

Are you a tourism or hospitality related business or organization operating in the Cowichan Region? Do you have an interest in the success of Cowichan as a tourism destination? If so, register for FREE as a stakeholder of Tourism Cowichan.  By doing so, you access a wide range of benefits that can help grow your business.

Find out more »

Town Signage Update

New signs are starting to appear around town! Do you know where these are?

Signage 49th parallelA multi-phase project to update and improve the Town’s entry/gateway and directional signage is underway and the Ladysmith Downtown Business Association is proud to have played a role in it.

Based on recommendations from a joint committee of the Town, Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Business Association, Phase I will involve a signage and site condition survey, sign and site layout design, and a project phasing strategy and budget.

When complete, the Signage Initiatives Project will result in new and improved:

  • Highway signage to invite visitors off the Trans-Canada Highway into downtown Ladysmith
  • Downtown business directional signage to reduce the need for sandwich boards
  • Tourism signage highlighting Ladysmith’s history and location.

Council approved the first phase of funding for a tourism and business Signage Initiatives Project in the 2014 budget.  This project is being led by the Development Services Department with the support of a project team from Golder Associates.  The Town’s entry/gateway and directional signage has been in place for over ten years.

The first phase of this multi-phase project is commencing and is expected to be completed very soon.  This project follows the successful completion of new downtown street banners in five themes – savour, play, explore, indulge, relax –  and new signage for the Town’s public parking lots.

Council is applying for a grant that would allow the signage to be completed all at once.