Radius: Off
Radius: km
Set radius for geolocation
post-title 2018 CIVIC ELECTION – RESPONSES FROM KCBIA OPEN LETTER TO CANDIDATES

2018 CIVIC ELECTION – RESPONSES FROM KCBIA OPEN LETTER TO CANDIDATES

2018 CIVIC ELECTION – RESPONSES FROM KCBIA OPEN LETTER TO CANDIDATES

2018 CIVIC ELECTION – RESPONSES FROM KCBIA OPEN LETTER TO CANDIDATES

Ken Lorne CHRISTIAN, Mayor of Kamloops

Question #1: If elected what will be your top priority to sustain current businesses in Downtown Kamloops?

  • If elected I will work to keep business tax rates at the percentage, they currently share of the overall tax dispersal and will work to keep annual increases at or below the annual rate of inflation.  A predictable tax scheme is stable and good for investment

Question #2: If elected, what would you do to enhance businesses currently located in Downtown Kamloops?

  • To enhance downtown business, I would support a parking study and an increase to support enhanced CAP team coverage. Customers need to be able to park and need to feel safe in the downtown core.

Question #3; If elected, describe what you would do to encourage, facilitate and attract new and existing businesses to locate in Downtown Kamloops?

  • In terms of business attraction, I will continue to support densification and downtown residential development.  More people with enhanced walkable space downtown equals an improvement in customer base and enhance retail opportunities.  Better opportunity translates to more jobs, better options for consumers and a more robust economy – Ken Christian, Mayor of Kamloops

 

William James TURNBULL, Mayor of Kamloops Candidate

Answers not provided.

 

 Jennifer Dawn ADAMS, City Council Candidate

Hope you are well and thank you for sharing this with the members. I love living downtown and as a resident of the downtown I see how our community is struggling. I am hoping my tough love approach gets support because something has got to give regarding the vagrancy, public drug use and debauchery that is becoming an everyday thing in our beautiful downtown core and I will continue to lend my voice to the efforts and lobby hard to make things better for small business, the backbone of our economy. Thanks again, Jennifer Adams

Question #1; If elected what will be your top priority to sustain current businesses in Downtown Kamloops?

  • If elected, Downtown will continue to be a priority for me because I live downtown, I shop downtown and walk downtown every day.  I think we need to do more than sustain current business because some are struggling. I believe we need to do more to stimulate investment into the core. There are too many empty store fronts and I believe that breeds problems and community safety concerns. We must find ways to reduce pan handlers and do more to help members of our community that should not be on the street, but sheltered, and under a Dr’s care for mental health and/or addiction. We need to do a better job to ensure accountability and/or control of the discarded needles and drug paraphernalia in our alleys and on our streets.  I will continue to reach out to the business community and will use my voice to lobby all levels of government to do more to make our street safer, to advocate for housing and mental health supports to those whose behaviours impact businesses every day in our community. I love the new Downtown plan and will support projects that promote walkability and events to bring people into the downtown core. I would love to see the big parking lot (The Daily News Building site) be used for events (like Brewloops, or art battles, or concerts) on the weekends and evenings when it sits empty.

Question #2; If elected, what would you do to enhance businesses currently located in Downtown Kamloops?

  • If elected I would lobby to find ways to speed up approval times for zoning variance applications and find ways to fast track new business applications. An application to sell beer on a patio, for instance, should not take months to get approved.  We need to ensure that businesses are unfettered and able to adapt to customers wants and needs in cost effective and timely ways. If elected I would continue to support events like the back-alley party’s, brew loops, the busker’s festival, Art in The Park and Music In The Park. I love the alley mural art projects and would like to see some bigger and more centrally located projects on buildings like the TNRD-Library-Art Gallery (wall facing the plaza). Imagine a huge perspective art piece on the back and side of the old Value Village. If elected I will also add my voice to sensible zoning for cannabis that protects those who do not want to be impacted by cannabis but create areas, zoning and the ability for investors to operate cannabis cafes, like lounges or bars but for cannabis. Perhaps we could zone the alleys as designated smoking zones and get both cigarette and cannabis off the main sidewalks, public areas and patios, support small businesses that want to help fill this new legal niche.

Question #3; If elected, describe what you would do to encourage, facilitate and attract new and existing businesses to locate in Downtown Kamloops?

  • If elected to Kamloops City Council I will continue to lobby hard to make our streets safer and find ways to improve the approval times for licensing and variance applications. Time is money for a small business and being able to be proactive as an organization to assist small business adapt quickly is important.  With the plans to increase the density in the core, business will benefit. Parking is no longer an issue downtown with the closing of Value Village and the parking lot at KDN, but, I would support reducing the cost to park downtown. Downtown is the only area of the city that we must pay for parking and I hear from small business that this hurts them. I would continue to lobby for supports to make our streets safer for residents and tourists. The Rocky Montaineer brings thousands into our city, I would like to see those tourists stay in Kamloops longer and believe that if it was coordinated with the KCBIA we could ensure that small business is on board, staffed and open for the tourists for shopping, dining or entertainment.

 

Nicholas James Jess ADAMS, City Council Candidate

Thank you for the opportunity to answer these questions.  As a person who enjoys a lot time Downtown I love the new vibrancy it has had in the last year.

Question #1; If elected what will be your top priority to sustain current businesses in Downtown Kamloops? 

  • My top priority is ensuring that the city ensures quick and reasonable decision making, on issuing permits, and dealing with zoning and other requests.  Talking to downtown business owners I have consistently heard that dealing with the city can be frustrating.  Red tape and cost of compliance are often stated as a barrier to growth or new ventures.

Question #2; If elected, what would you do to enhance businesses currently located in Downtown Kamloops? 

  • I believe a vibrant downtown core is the best way to enhance existing businesses in the downtown core.  I would support events and projects that work toward the vitalization of the core.  Continued upgrades and services to our core as well as events, will bring the people downtown to enjoy the great businesses it offers.

Question #3; If elected, describe what you would do to encourage, facilitate and attract new and existing businesses to locate in Downtown Kamloops. 

  • Kamloops has a bit of a reputation of being a can’t do city.  I will work to ensure that we avoid barriers to new businesses and the expansion or relocation of existing ventures.  By making Kamloops an easy community to do business in, we can attract outside investment and continued growth in our downtown core.

 

Marsha Dale BASS, City Council Candidate

I’m wondering if the answer to two wouldn’t be better as the answer to three. For two, perhaps some bromide about listening and working together to make the downtown more accessible and attractive to shoppers and others.

Question 1: If elected, what will be your top priority to sustain current businesses in downtown Kamloops?

  • There is not one priority but several that blend together to become the main priority of sustaining current business in the downtown area: continued residential and commercial densification, providing more parking, addressing the homeless and transient situation and ensure there are fewer barriers to development and permitting.

Question 2:  If elected, what would you do to enhance businesses currently located in downtown Kamloops?

  • A core review of the way city hall processes development plans, licences, all things to do with growing business must be done. We need to make the processes more efficient to avoid situations where a business that just wants to expand spends months — and thousands of dollars — trying to get the needed approvals in place. That core review would have to involve the business sector dealing with these issues.

Question 3: If elected, describe what you would do to encourage, facilitate and attract new and existing businesses to locate in downtown Kamloops?

  • Too many business people have talked about the challenge of navigating the development and permitting process at city hall. Does it need to take several months to approve a basic business expansion? With each go-round, that businessman is having to resubmit the fees and, after several go-rounds, that’s a significant financial burden for the smaller business owner. Should it cost tens of thousands of dollars to approve a new small business? How does that impact the financial bottom line of that small business owner? These need to be given a hard review to identify inefficiencies and find ways to make the process smoother, quicker and more amenable to those navigating it.

 

Christopher (Chris) BOSE, City Council Candidate

Answers not provided.

 

Donovan Michael Grube CAVERS, City Council Candidate

Question #1: If elected what will be your top priority to sustain current businesses in Downtown Kamloops?

  • I’ve been known to describe the Victoria Street area as our “cultural core” and I truly believe that to be one of our greatest strengthens. People visit downtown because it has what the big box stores don’t… downtown business owners provide care, attention to detail and a friendliness that can almost never be replicated by generic franchise stores. We need to keep this in mind and never lose sight of the uniqueness that makes us so attractive to potential purchasers who live in the core area and those who live in other areas but frequent the downtown.

Question 2:  If elected, what would you do to enhance businesses currently located in downtown Kamloops?

  • As a re-elected City Councillor I will work to ensure all areas of our city receive support. In the lead up to the last municipal election I canvassed the business owners both along the Tranquille market primary business corridor and the Victoria primary business corridor and received some very valuable direct one-on-one feedback that has help guide my decisions since then and will continue to if supported in my bid for re-election. With the current leadership at both organizations I believe huge opportunities exist for collaboration and mentorship between our communities two BIAs.

Question 3: If elected, describe what you would do to encourage, facilitate and attract new and existing businesses to locate in downtown Kamloops?

  • I voted in favour of maximizing the revitalization tax incentive (10 years tax free on assessed value of the improvements to a building’s exterior). I think the City needs to continually innovative but in close partnership along the KCBIA and its board of directors. Successes like the 4th Avenue Pedestrian Plaza concept pilot could not happen without the strong and mutually respectful relationship we enjoy.

 

 Corally Heather DELWO, City Council Candidate

Question #1: If elected what will be your top priority to sustain current businesses in Downtown Kamloops?

  • I would help sustain business in the downtown core by supporting a multitude of yearly festivals, events, concerts, and tournaments to increase the flow of tourism. I would like to work with the downtown BIA to come up with economical and effective solutions for our parking issues.  I would also support a well planned economically feasible performing arts center and would like to see some grass roots involvement with raising funds for it. I would also like to find ways through a core review of the city to see how we can better allocate funds, cut costs where we can and move funds to upgrade roads and our curb appeal in the downtown core as well as the rest of the city.

Question 2:  If elected, what would you do to enhance businesses currently located in downtown Kamloops?

  • I think to enhance business downtown we need to have a more proactive approach with communication and team work with the BIA to find out where the city can assist the businesses and what owners feel is important to create a more vibrant downtown atmosphere. I would attend meetings and be present to receive ideas and suggestions of what we should be doing to serve as an effective council.

Question 3: If elected, describe what you would do to encourage, facilitate and attract new and existing businesses to locate in downtown Kamloops?

  • To attract business, think we need to stream line the process for opening business into a simpler process. 6-month approvals for new business and development is not acceptable. We also need to provide incentives and tax breaks that would help ease the burden of the already huge start up costs and help entrepreneurs reach their goals and live their dreams. I would also remove the business license requirements for commercial property owners as I think adding more costs to the land owners only adds for more costs to the businesses as it is reflected in increased triple net charges. As a former small business owner small increases can be the make or break point of business success or failure. If these increases become to large we will lose too many of our small businesses and that will really harm our economy in Kamloops – Thank you

 

Rasham (Ray) Singh DHALIWAL, City Council Candidate

Answers not provided.

 

Dieter Wolfgang DUDY, City Council Candidate

Question #1: If elected what will be your top priority to sustain current businesses in Downtown Kamloops?

  • Contrary to what some people believe increasing the number of businesses in downtown Kamloops will go a long way to ensure that the current businesses not only survive but thrive. Creating services and amenities that would appeal to new business owners will attract them to the downtown and in turn will stimulate growth. The adage of “activity begets activity” holds very true here. I see the addition of a pedestrian plaza, performing arts centre, cultural centre, public market to name a few as ensuring success for business downtown, both old and new.

Question 2:  If elected, what would you do to enhance businesses currently located in downtown Kamloops?

  • I think I may have answered question 2 in #1. In a nutshell…increase livability.

Question 3: If elected, describe what you would do to encourage, facilitate and attract new and existing businesses to locate in downtown Kamloops?

  • At the risk of repeating myself, sustaining, creating and enhancing business all rely on a vibrant core. We need focal points, draws for tourists and locals alike. I do and will continue to encourage the development of public amenities that support and foster business.

 

 

Dennis Dale GIESBRECHT, City Council Candidate

Question #1: If elected what will be your top priority to sustain current businesses in Downtown Kamloops?

  • To encourage and support business in the downtown core I would like to see 3 things; first an increase in security.  If we want people out of their cars and walking the core they must feel safe. A proactive approach between bylaws and RCMP, not reactive. Second would be a push for higher density housing in the core, with emphasis on multi-unit condos. Third would be a building on the atmosphere in the core.  Downtown has the older character buildings and that can be marketed with a tradition and history of personal service, throw back to the” good old days”

Question 2:  If elected, what would you do to enhance businesses currently located in downtown Kamloops?

  • To enhance the business downtown we need to build up the feel of comfort and history. This would include older styles of lighting, benches. I would like tax incentives to encourage renovations to look historical, old style doors, windows, awnings, etc. A larger walking presence of law enforcement as well (I would love to see police on horse but I’m not sure that is practical).

Question 3: If elected, describe what you would do to encourage, facilitate and attract new and existing businesses to locate in downtown Kamloops?  

  • Once the core is established as a vibrant, profitable place to do business the business will come.  We will of course need a competitively set tax structure and incentives to renovate the old buildings and a plan to have new construction fit in with the history and feel.

 

Shawn Ray HARNETT, City Council Candidate

Answers not provided.

 

Mercedes Alicia Maureen (Sadie) HUNTER, City Council Candidate

Question #1; If elected what will be your top priority to sustain current businesses in Downtown Kamloops?

  • The first thing I’d like a good sense of is what is working for businesses in the downtown area. From there, I’d look to find ways to build on what is working and to address what could be improved and see where those improvements can fit into the current planning for the downtown core.

Question #2; If elected, what would you do to enhance businesses currently located in Downtown Kamloops?

  • In my conversations in the community, there seems to be a perception of the downtown in general as being not very accessible. I believe it’s important to find out in more detail what those perceived barriers are – physical or otherwise – and then work to address them. This may be as straightforward as enhancing communication about businesses in the core, or as challenging at looking at options for accessible parking and enhancing access into businesses. Many of the storefronts in the downtown core, as they are housed in older buildings, aren’t that accessible to those with limited mobility.

Question #3; If elected, describe what you would do to encourage, facilitate and attract new and existing businesses to locate in Downtown Kamloops?

  • Personally, I’d need a better understanding of the current available space for potential businesses. From there, I’d seek to make connections between businesses currently operating in the downtown core with businesses considering their options. To me, it makes the most sense to connect the subject matter experts, with the capacity and experience to answer detailed questions, to others who are looking for help in making informed decisions.

 

Jimmy Jadgeep Singh JOHAL, City Council Candidate

Question #1:  If elected what will be your top priority to sustain current businesses in Downtown Kamloops? 

  • The city needs to control its spending and decrease the property tax rate for businesses.  Over the last 10 years, the city’s expenses have increased by over 30%, double the rate of inflation.  Much of this burden has been placed on businesses, as they pay higher property tax rates compared to residential rates.  These increases are ultimately passed onto the shoppers in the form of higher prices in local shops.  That’s not fair to small businesses (who lose their competitive edge) or consumers (who must pay higher prices).  If we want to attract businesses and sustain current businesses, we need to make it a priority to control spending and decrease the property tax burden on businesses.

Question #2:  If elected, what would you do to enhance businesses currently located in Downtown Kamloops?

  • Shopping downtown should be a unique, enjoyable, and exciting experience.  I’d like to see licensed entertainers on the streets.  Lots of outdoor public green spaces dispersed throughout the downtown.  Unique artwork.  Lots of special events and festivals taking place, drawing people downtown and into the shops.  Basically, a beautiful, pedestrian and bike-friendly, walkable, mixed-use neighbourhood “hopping” with activities.  I’d like to transform it into the most “happening” place to be in Kamloops. Plus, I’d like to fast-track Downtown revitalization by reviewing and improving incentives, so that they work.  If we can encourage developers to invest in mixed-use buildings with commercial spaces on ground-level and residences above, there will be more modern commercial spaces and more people living, working, playing, and shopping downtown.

Question #3:  If elected, describe what you would do to encourage, facilitate and attract new and existing businesses to locate in Downtown Kamloops?

  • I’d like to see zones of economic activity spread throughout the city, including in the downtown.  In addition to the things I’ve mentioned above, I’d like the city to continue working with the KCBIA to identify the types of businesses we’d like to attract to the area (e.g. tech businesses), and then provide targeted incentives to get those businesses there.  This means reviewing, improving, and expanding our revitalization incentives.
  • Right now, these property tax incentives are only available for property owners that build new or significantly renovate a building.  I’d like to expand them to any of the targeted business types (which we’d determine along with KCBIA’s input).  So, whether these businesses buy or lease a building, they may qualify.  We could set certain qualification criteria:  for example, they must occupy a space of a certain square footage, or they must employ a certain number of employees, or they must be located in a specific part of the Downtown.  In this way, we can make these incentives work to improve the downtown.
  • Another thing is, property tax revitalization incentives are paid out to the end-user over 5 or 10 years.  Developers usually “build-to-sell” so don’t really get to take advantage of these incentives.  We need to get more of these incentives to the developers to really encourage them to build, and to build the types of buildings we need downtown.  I think we can fast-track our revitalization if we give a greater proportion of the incentives to developers and less to end-users.  This idea would make these incentives actually work by better enticing developers to invest and would actually save the city money (I think this would be a powerful way to entice developers, so much so that we could actually give less in incentives overall).
  • Finally, I’d like to give business owners the opportunity to improve our public spaces downtown, if they choose, and if it fits with the character and culture of downtown.  If someone has an idea and the money to invest in public features, artwork, improvements, etc. around their businesses, we should be open to that, and if needed, even provide a property tax incentive.  Public-private partnerships like this can be a win-win and make for a unique and “happening” downtown experience.

 

Stephen KARPUK, City Council Candidate

Question #1: If elected what will be your top priority to sustain current businesses in Downtown Kamloops?

  • Attitude. We need to change our negative attitude. Let’s start with, “Yes”, and then figure out how to make the yes happen rather than “No” and failing to see anything happen. Look at the opportunity instead of focusing on the barriers to achieving that opportunity. Let’s remove the barriers to growth by reducing time for permits. Let’s be more flexible with zoning to allow for more restaurant patios, and more mixed residential/commercial buildings. But I truly believe that it all comes back to attitude and the belief that we can, instead of we can’t.

Question #2: If elected, what would you do to enhance businesses currently located in Downtown Kamloops?

  • I would look at ways to one attract more people to the downtown area, either through events and activities and reducing the real and perceived barriers to accessing the downtown like parking, transit, walkability, etc. An idea I would I would love to work with the KCBIA to make a reality is to turn more blank exterior building wall space into murals or other art, like Chemainus, BC. The positive economic benefits and overall community feel that this type of community project could bring have been proven in many locations around the globe. I think it would work here too, but I know the KCBIA has ideas and I am very open to making their ideas happen too.

Question #3: If elected, describe what you would do to encourage, facilitate and attract new and existing businesses to locate to Kamloops Downtown.

  • One of the biggest challenges I think we have in our Kamloops downtown is a lack of definition or identity. We have too many businesses that don’t fit with each other. I feel we need to define what it is we want for our downtown area, maybe on a block by block basis. Other cities have entertainment districts, or restaurant areas, clothing shop zones and they work well together because they fit. Restaurants, lounges, night clubs and bars work well with each other because they feed off each other and they don’t have as many conflicts. Thus, I think it is imperative that our City work with the KCBIA on ways to address this issue. We need to implement a long-term strategy that we work on together and actively make it happen. Look for businesses that fit the strategy/goal and find ways to make them want to be in the KCBIA or other areas of Kamloops. Another current challenge to growth in the KCBIA is the proliferation of homeless, drug and mental health persons who are predominantly hanging out in the KCBIA zone. I will advocate for programs that offer “hand-ups” instead of “handouts”. I think our current approach to dealing with these people has proven ineffectual, so I think an accountability model needs to be used. If we clean up the image and our streets of the downtown KCBIA then I feel we will see an increase in the growth, prosperity potential and longevity of our Downtown.  Thank you for opportunity to comment on your questions and please get out and vote on Oct. 20th. Let’s have a vocal majority instead of a vocal minority.

 

Caroline Frances KING, City Councillor Candidate

Answers not provided.

 

Alison Marie KLIE, City Council Candidate

Question #1 If elected what will be your top priority to sustain current businesses in Downtown Kamloops?

  • My top priority for sustaining business in the downtown area is to support new building projects that are large mixed residential and commercial buildings. By providing living spaces close to entertainment and amenities it will attract new homeowners and renters who will live nearby and become repeat customers to the surrounding businesses.

Question #2 If elected, what would you do to enhance businesses currently located in Downtown Kamloops?

  • I believe that with commercial spaces being a component of new buildings it will provide opportunities for growth or relocation if desired. And with the new residents to the area no longer needing to drive and take up parking customers from other areas of the city will be able to more easily frequent downtown businesses.

Question #3 If elected, describe what you would do to encourage, facilitate and attract new and existing businesses to locate in Downtown Kamloops.

  • I would like to see the process of business and building applications streamlined. With a growing customer base and real estate opportunities Downtown Kamloops is an inviting place to start a business. Although we need to find ways of expediting the paperwork so that work may begin as quickly as possible while still ensuring proper precautions are being met.

 

Mike Scott O’REILLY, City Council Candidate

Question #1 If elected what will be your top priority to sustain current businesses in Downtown Kamloops?

  • I think the KCBIA has done a fantastic job over the last 2 years creating new and exciting events and this needs to continue. Working with other organizations in the city such as Brewloops, Rotary and the Arts Council is crucial to create new and exciting experiences. The CAP team has also done a great job working with the homeless and cleaning up our streets, but this needs to be expanded to include more staff and longer hours.

Question #2 If elected, what would you do to enhance businesses currently located in Downtown Kamloops?

  • I think the number one way to increase business in the downtown is to have new companies relocate or expand to the downtown core. To do this we need new commercial buildings. We have all seen the impact the tax revitalization has had on multi-family buildings in the downtown, now it is time to expand the tax incentives to commercial buildings. Currently Kelowna, Prince George, Victoria, Chilliwack, Delta, Nanaimo and Maple Ride all have commercial tax incentives. Kamloops does not. The multi-family tax exemption could easily be changed to include commercial buildings.

Question #3 If elected, describe what you would do to encourage, facilitate and attract new and existing businesses to locate in Downtown Kamloops.

  • If you build it they will come. Having new buildings downtown will attract more professionals to the downtown and help all businesses in the downtown core.

 

Bill B. SARAI, City Council Candidate

Question #1; If elected what will be your top priority to sustain current businesses in Downtown Kamloops? 

  • Creating and sustaining jobs and working with businesses to grow our economy is paramount for our City moving forward and it will be my main duty as a hopeful City Councillor. My main priority would be to meet regularly with the Downtown businesses and association to get a pulse on the main issues concerning businesses and what steps can be taken at the City Hall level to achieve net positive effects for all parties.

Question #2; If elected, what would you do to enhance businesses currently located in Downtown Kamloops? 

  • Enhancing the Downtown core is one of my main concerns at the City Hall level moving forward. We have urban development rapidly taking place in the Downtown area and we need to take advantage of this to revitalize businesses and services provided in this area. It all starts with City initiatives to create a vibrant Downtown area full of attractions, events and dining experiences. There is no reason that we couldn’t make the Daily News Parking Lot free on weekends to attract more customers to the Farmer’s Market or to take in breakfast at a variety of the great restaurants found Downtown to boost the economy in this area.

Question #3; If elected, describe what you would do to encourage, facilitate and attract new and existing businesses to locate in Downtown Kamloops? 

  • Our Downtown area is rapidly growing with the creation of multiple story condos the past few years. That alone should be a conversation starter with perspective businesses for deciding to locate Downtown and capitalize on an increasing population. The City of Kamloops is hosting more events Downtown each year than in years past which also funnels traffic into the local businesses. The Daily News Building being turned into a parking lot should hopefully represent a small positive in terms of the parking problem that has long plagued Downtown Kamloops although I strongly disagree with the parking lot being the best use of the land in the first place. As a hopeful City Councillor, I have confidence that I could help Downtown Kamloops grow and prosper moving forward.

 

Kathy Elizabeth SINCLAIR, City Council Candidate

Question #1: If elected what will be your top priority to sustain current businesses in Downtown Kamloops?

  • The bottom line is that to sustain current downtown businesses, we need more people to live, work and visit the downtown. More people downtown will increase business for retailers, restaurants and service providers. Here are a few ideas for getting more people downtown:
    • continue to densify the downtown through residential developments (condos and apartment buildings) – creating a higher population to enjoy a convenient, walkable community with access to amenities, who will do business downtown;
    • in conjunction with the downtown transportation & parking study (pending), in partnership with the KCBIA, work to develop a comprehensive communications strategy around downtown parking and transportation – offering solutions such as encouraging people to park on adjacent blocks to Victoria Street, and working to eliminate the perception that there’s no parking;
    • incentive developments that provide at least 10 public parking spaces in their buildings (this is already a part of the City Centre Revitalization Tax Exemption) and/or that offer electric vehicle charging stations and/or carsharing (many young professionals only want to use a car when they need it – one carshare vehicle can replace 12 parking stalls);
    • incentive developments that add value to the public (i.e. public art, public street furniture, public open space – already covered in City Centre Revitalization Tax Exemption – perhaps it is time to promote the City Centre Revitalization Tax Exemption more heavily);
    • champion a privately led or volunteer-led (*not* municipally-led) civic centre/performing arts centre/conference centre in the downtown;
    • work in partnership with Tourism Kamloops to promote downtown as even more of a destination to Rocky Mountaineer passengers, etc.;
    • continue to assist KCBIA with making downtown even more of a destination through City support of community festivals and events (i.e. Ribfest, Buskers Festival, Back Alley Block Party, Pedestrian Plaza, etc.).

Question #2: If elected, what would you do to enhance businesses currently located in Downtown Kamloops?

  • I am committed to increasing housing and supported housing in all areas of Kamloops, including downtown. I believe that the benefits of having 24/7 supported housing for those who are struggling go far beyond helping those individuals alone; they also benefit the business community. For every $10 we spend on supported housing, we save $21.72 in emergency services. I can’t think of anyone wants to see people who are struggling with homelessness, addiction, mental health and poverty on our downtown streets, but without a place to live, that is where many of them are ending up. This is certainly a perceived and real deterrent to doing business downtown. I believe CAP Team data before and after the supported housing goes in at Mission Flats, West Victoria and St. Paul Street will assist with tracking the impact of these projects, which can then be shared with businesses. Many of the items listed above in question 1 can also be applied to this question.

Question #3: If elected, describe what you would do to encourage, facilitate and attract new and existing businesses to relocate in Downtown Kamloops?

  • Following the model of economic development (via Venture Kamloops), the best way to attract new business is to ensure current businesses are happy. Success feeds on success. Downtown must become “the place to be” for business. A lack of staff parking seems to be one of the biggest barriers to businesses moving downtown. I am optimistic this will be analyzed within the downtown transportation / parking study. We know that underground parking is expensive and that it is not realistic to tell business owners and employees to “just take the bus.” The solution to this issue is multi-layered and the points in question 1 also apply here. We need to support locally owned businesses first. That said, looking at other cities, having 1-2 high-profile anchor tenants (such as Lululemon, Sephora, Mountain Equipment Co-op) in the downtown could do much to attract new businesses to relocate as well. I believe this will happen organically once we reach the 100,000-population mark. From what I understand from conversations with Venture Kamloops, new businesses are reluctant to move into existing storefronts; they want new builds. Again, the City Centre Revitalization Tax Exemption may need to be promoted more heavily. I also understand there is a perception that Kamloops businesses pay more taxes than those in other BC cities; however, a recent report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses tells a different story, ranking Kamloops 2nd after Prince George as the top community when looking at municipal property tax fairness (i.e. when balancing businesses’ share of property taxes and assessments). I believe much comes back to championing, communicating and increasing awareness about the benefits Downtown Kamloops has to offer.

 

Arjun Harjit SINGH, City Council Candidate

Question #1: If elected what will be your top priority to sustain current businesses in Downtown Kamloops?  

  • I think one of the top priorities to sustain current downtown businesses is to help homeless people get housed and get supported. Also, to help people addicted to street level drugs get off these drugs. One of the most frequent concerns I hear from downtown business people is about the negative impacts for and from homeless and addicted citizens. Kamloops is scheduled to have over 150 units of new supportive housing by spring of 2019.

Question #2: If elected, what would you do to enhance businesses currently located in Downtown Kamloops?

  • I think the new downtown planning process offers some exciting concepts for making the downtown even more vibrant and people friendly – things like pedestrian plazas, public squares, and more residential units. I was honoured to serve on our just completed Official Community Plan advisory committee and one of the goals in that plan is to have more people living and thus hopefully shopping, eating, and drinking downtown. More people living downtown enhances the opportunities for downtown businesses. I also think a performing arts centre would enhance businesses downtown by creating a marquee anchor facility to keep downtown in people’s mind. As a community, we should start working together to come up with a new, better supported plan for a performing arts centre.

Question #3: If elected, describe what you would do to encourage, facilitate and attract new and existing businesses to relocate in Downtown Kamloops?

  • After hearing concerns from business leaders, including downtown business leaders, I will be proposing that council approve a review of city regulations and permits for businesses and developers to ensure fairness. I don’t think the city has meant to be unfair at all. I think it is good practice, every so often, to make sure our intentions still match the real-world application of our regulations and permitting.

 

Denis J. WALSH, City Council Candidate

Question #1: If elected what will be your top priority to sustain current businesses in Downtown Kamloops? 

  • I believe vibrancy in the Downtown core will be key to sustaining current business activity in the Downtown core. One of the keys to making that happen will be to see the Downtown plan implemented. As the City’s representative on the Downtown Technical Advisory Committee (DTAC), I have first-hand knowledge of the planning process and the current direction of plans. Too often there are challenges with resourcing and implementing plans such as this. Therefore, I will advocate for and support efforts to move this forward in a timely and thoughtful manner. I would also encourage Council to direct staff to strengthen dialogue and communication with the KCBIA, Venture Kamloops, the Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Kamloops, and others in understanding the needs of local business and understand what works in terms of business retention and growth. This will help to inform the City as to where they can reasonably support business retention.

Question #2:  If elected, what would you do to enhance businesses currently located in Downtown Kamloops? 

  • I would like to explore the possibility of holding more events in the downtown core that would attract visitors and residents to the downtown. Last summer’s closure of 4th Avenue was well received by the public and I think if we work closely with Downtown businesses, we can find similar events and activities that will support and increase activity downtown.  I would encourage Council to move ahead with the planned Downtown Transportation Demand Management and Parking Study (TDMPS), which would include identifying issues and solutions to accessing businesses and services in Downtown Kamloops.  The Downtown TDMPS will, among other priorities, create strategies that will directly support the objectives of the 2019 Downtown Plan currently being developed. I will also continue to actively promote and celebrate downtown as one of the key social and business hubs of Kamloops.

Question #3: If elected, describe what you would do to encourage, facilitate and attract new and existing businesses to locate in Downtown Kamloops. 

  • As a Downtown business owner, I believe a key step in encouraging, facilitating and attracting new business activity Downtown can be stimulated by the redevelopment of the KDN parking lot. Currently this site provides little business stimulus to the Downtown core. By redeveloping this site and creating a vision that fits with the existing business community I believe we can foster significant spin-off activities for many businesses in the Downtown core as well as create opportunities for new entrepreneurial activity. I would also work with my fellow councillors requesting that staff research best effective practices and prepare proposals for City incentives such as a new tax revitalization plan that would encourage businesses and residents to locate in the Downtown core. Denis Walsh

 

Gerald Kenyon WATSON, City Council Candidate

Question #1; If elected what will be your top priority to sustain current businesses in Downtown Kamloops?

  • I have practiced law downtown since 1995 and am committed to the heart of our city.  The City already has policies aimed at supporting our downtown core which are geared towards attracting new residents to our centre.  The downtown should become the hub for medium to high density housing and an area with a concentrated population of seniors and others looking for that sort of accommodation.  I would support and seek to enhance initiatives that bring people into the city centre.  A larger resident downtown population will provide a key boost to businesses in this area.

Question #2; If elected, what would you do to enhance businesses currently located in Downtown Kamloops?

  • I often walk downtown from my office to meetings with other professionals or my clients.  People new to Kamloops often remark to me on the attractiveness of our downtown.  Our city needs to ensure that our downtown remains the “go to” place for the Kamloops experience.  Credit is due to previous councils for some of the improvements we have seen to date including new downtown hotels and infrastructure enhancements.  We have seen a transformation in larger centres where storefronts are often accompanied by a residential development above the retail level.  As a city we can do more to encourage this sort of development as well as continuing to support existing and new initiatives such as the downtown Customer Care and Patrol (CAP) program and other downtown events.

Question #3; If elected, describe what you would do to encourage, facilitate and attract new and existing businesses to locate in Downtown Kamloops?

  • For a business to locate in our downtown core it must be attractive, accessible and financially viable. We know our downtown merchants will continue to provide high quality and well priced products and services.  As a city, we need to ensure that our residents and visitors have a safe and pleasant experience.  This could include having a prominent police presence with officers walking a downtown beat, improvements to infrastructure and making sure that our downtown remains a green, lively and pedestrian friendly destination.
Portfolio  |  Info: There are no items created, add some please.
Loading…