Thursday, June 30, 2022

Findings from Business Walk 2022 highlight bounty of jobs available in Prince Rupert, challenges towards recruitment

Local business owners were visited in June as part of the 
return of the community Business Walk program to hear
of local concerns from the business community

The City's Economic Development Office and a number of community stakeholders got back into a walking frame of mind this month, with a return post COVID for the Prince Rupert Business Walk, a trek around town that provided for some interesting observations about the state of commerce in the community.

Joining the City's Economic Development Officer Paul Venditelli in his travels were participants from the Prince Rupert Port Authority, Community Futures of the Pacific Northwest, Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce and the province.

After their tour around town, one item note stood out among many and that was the volume of job opportunities that are available in the community at the moment and the struggles that many are having to fill their open positions. 

From their findings, the Busines walk highlighted that Sixty-eight per cent of businesses surveyed in the 2022 Business Walks indicated that they are growing, with 65% of them indicating one of their biggest challenges is to find staff. 

Across the 66 small-medium sized businesses who completed the questionnaire, there was also a total anticipated increase of 130 jobs in the next three years to support growth. 

“We know that the pandemic has been an incredibly challenging time for our local business community. It was heartening to know that as we are starting to emerge from the most difficult time, that the businesses that were able to stick it out are starting to rebound and even grow. Most even noted they were growing as compared to pre-pandemic levels.” --  Paul Vendittelli, City Director of Economic Development and Transportation.

For John Farrell with Community Futures, the opportunities that are available and prospects for entrepreneurs was the main takeaway from this years review.

"What we heard on the Business Walk reflects what we are see in our office. We are seeing local businesses expand their footprint, invest in new equipment, and launch their products and services on-line. There is a growing demand for our coaching services and financing which tells me the business climate has turned a corner in Prince Rupert."

As one of the partners in the project, Ken Veldman, the Port's Vice President of Public Affairs and Sustainability  noted of the opportunity to learn more about community needs that the walk has offered.

“Business retention initiatives like Business Walk are important opportunities to engage directly with local business owners to gain a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges they face. The local business sector is a strong, interconnected network of community members that operate a variety of critical commercial activities in this town. We know our collective success needs to be mutual, and we’re committed to ensuring their needs and interests are recognized within our operations and with local government.”

The Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce also found much to take from the project, with Chamber President Daphne Thomson observing how what they learned this month will help towards their plans for the year ahead.

“The Business Walk came at a great time with immense insight to the PRDCC. As we prepare for next year, the post-COVID needs and wants of our local businesses will be a great focus for us. Knowing what the community businesses need, the growth expectations and challenges help us to be more relevant whilst serving and supporting the community and our members with excellence in the way they need it.”

Towards the ongoing work in bringing employers and potential employees together, you can check out the Make Prince Rupert Home recruitment portal to see how the collective partners are looking to solve the issue of staffing needs.

The full report from the City can be reviewed here, another version is posted to the City of Prince Rupert Facebook page, which offers up a forum of sorts for comment on the findings.

More notes on the Commercial sector can be examined through our archive page.

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