BC Business Walks

Business Walks Manual CoverOriginally started in Sacremento, California, the Business Walks program is now active in BC.  The program was initially started in BC in May 2012, by the Central Okanagan Regional District (CORD).   BCEDA assisted in a minor way with the development of the survey questions and then by adding it to the BC BusinessCounts Program.   The successful initiative is now active in the entire Okanagan region and in other areas of BC.  The program has been so successful that the Province of BC is now getting involved and doing Business Walks in select communities in BC, like Uclelet, Tofino and Quesnel.  Several BC BusinessCounts communities are also implementing the program in order to find out the issues, challenges and opportunities that businesses may be dealing with.  

Business Walks is not like a traditional Business Retention Program.  Business Walks involves a partnership facilitated by the economic development group within the local area. Chambers, BIA’s, service providers and others along with local government staff and Councils.  “Walkers” (teams of leaders made up from the partners) walk from business to business asking a few conversationally structured questions that capture the pulse of the business community.   Over a few short hours large portions of the community are covered. 

The Business Walk program offers an excellent opportunity to listen to the local business community, identifying common themes for action while bringing together educational resources, municipal services and representatives of the business community for specific action plans. The Business Walks program allows visitation to numerous businesses in a short amount of time in order to gather industry intelligence to foster business growth.

If you are interested in doing a business walk for your community please let us know.  We are happy to provide some assistance.

NEWS:  BCEDA, ExecutivePulse and the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training partner together to make the BC BusinessCounts system open to all communities at no charge in order to conduct Business Walks.  Communities will have limited access but will have the ability to enter data collected and run reports.  Read more here.

News:   BCEDA has released a new manual designed to assist communities in implementing a Business Walks.  Download your copy here.    

Watch the recent BC Business Walks Webinar here.