Over the last year the Town of Oliver has engaged business owners, residents, students, and other stakeholders to create a roadmap to improve the local economy in our Town. All the effort and engagement paid off as the Town now has a completed Grow Oliver! Local Economic Development Strategy in place and priority actions are underway.
COVID-19 emerged as the final draft was being prepared in the spring. In response, actions and priorities were updated within Grow Oliver to reflect the impacts of COVID-19 on Oliver’s economy, while ensuring support is in place for a post-pandemic recovery of local businesses and jobs.
“The Grow Oliver strategy is a tool to encourage shopping local in our community”, said Mayor Johansen. “I encourage residents to get involved and participate, this is a great way to support independent businesses who are the backbone of our community’s economic stability, local businesses need our support more than ever”.
A Grow Oliver Committee is in place and it is a working group with representation from key businesses, planning groups and organizations with a passion for Oliver and an interest in community economic development. This includes representation from Oliver Tourism Association, Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association, and the South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce.
Currently the South Okanagan Chamber is being tasked with the Grow Oliver Coordinator position and is working on the top identified priorities which include a Shop Local campaign and creating a one stop resource for people, entrepreneurs and businesses looking to start up and grow their business in Oliver.
Greg Sol, President of the South Okanagan Chamber shared that “The Town’s plans mesh well with the priorities of our Chamber and we are thankful to be working together with the Committee and greater business community to deliver on the Grow Oliver economic development strategies. Making business support and development a priority is vital right now for all of us”.
Growing a strong and vibrant community cannot be done alone. Everyone is encouraged to get involved and participate. Look for the Grow Oliver magnets, signage and BINGO cards and think local first. Supporting local businesses and services is crucial in these times of COVID-19 economic recovery and Oliver’s long-term revitalization. More information on the Town’s COVID-19 response and Local Economic Development Strategy can be found on the town website www.oliver.ca.
Source: Randy Houle, Director of Development Services