Prince Rupert 3rd Annual Business walks – Press Release

On the morning of Friday, May 31st, the third annual Business Walks survey took place in Prince Rupert.

Organized and led by Manager of Transportation and Economic Development, Paul Vendittelli, this year’s event featured more than a dozen volunteers surveying local businesses on their successes, challenges, and ways that the City, Chamber of Commerce, and Community Futures can support their ongoing operability and growth.

“This year’s BizWalks survey was a great success. It’s always a treat to meet business owners and managers where they are and connect face-to-face.” Said Vendittelli, who spent his morning speaking with business owners in Rupert Square Mall. “The challenges are there, but also positive indicators and optimism about the future of commerce in our community.”

Volunteers this year included representatives from the City of Prince Rupert, Prince Rupert City Council, Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce, Community Futures, and Ecotrust Canada’s North Coast Innovation Lab.

Chamber President Michelle Boomars-MacNeill emphasized the importance of ensuring small and mid-sized business voices are heard to better serve the business community.

“The Prince Rupert & District Chamber of Commerce exists to connect, support and advocate for all businesses within Prince Rupert, and the results from the BizWalks will help us to provide the events, information and support that’s most needed,” remarked Boomars-MacNeill. “I am inspired by the loyalty and pride Rupert business owners share for their community, business endeavors, and clientele.”

Over 100 local businesses were surveyed, engaging local enterprises across town in retail, hospitality, industrial enterprises, personal services, and more. In addition to questions of growth, challenge and opportunity, this year’s survey also requested suggestions for improving business activity downtown, and inquired about business continuity plans in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.

“The narrative that ‘retail is dead’ isn’t the story we heard,” said John Farrell, Manager of Community Futures. “Owners are saying that business is strong in Rupert. There are challenges with recruiting staff, homelessness, vandalism … but there’s a growing willingness among businesses to work together and find collective solutions.”

The results from this survey will be made available on the City’s website, and on the City’s Rupert Talks platform, in the coming weeks. For more information, please contact Paul Vendittelli, 250-627-5138 (Office line), or via email at Paul.Vendittelli@princerupert.ca.

(6/13/2019)