Business Roundtable to lead to a Kitimat Business Revitalization Committee

A business roundtable in Kitimat discussed the challenges and realities of maintaining a business in the community.

More than 30 people attended a business roundtable hosted by the Kitimat Economic Development Office on November 26.

The roundtable was the conclusion of an effort in November to gather business community feedback about operating in Kitimat.

A group of volunteers had been dispatched to businesses around town in early November with a survey.

Interested business members were invited to the later roundtable to speak directly about the issues of doing business locally.

The resolution of this meeting was to put into work a proposed Business Revitalization Committee.

That committee will tackle various goals yet to be established but could include shop local initiatives or even marketing programs.

Economic Development Director Rose Klukas said her department could potentially offer seed money to hire a consultant to set a terms of reference for the group.

She emphasizes that while her department may spearhead the idea it will only work with the participation of business volunteers.

“People were passionate about their opinion and expressed positives and negatives,” she said about the roundtable discussion.

People had concerns that generally centred around the subject of people shopping out of town, and also for the desire to encourage people to come to Kitimat to shop.

Klukas said decades ago there was a Downtown Revitalization Committee, and this extends that group’s work under a banner that’s more inclusive to all of Kitimat’s businesses.

“We’re serious about supporting local business. This is the start. We’ll do what we can but it’s definitely dependent on the business community also participating,” said Klukas.

Volunteers who have said they’d join this new committee will regroup in the coming weeks to plan out their work.