The Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce received $620,000 as part of a Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program grant from the province. It will help to address supply chain gaps for small businesses in Oceanside.
“The Chamber sees the huge potential for small and medium size businesses on Vancouver Island to grow their businesses. It is a perfect fit with the support local work we have been doing over the past several months. As a chamber of commerce, we want to ensure we serve and support our local businesses.” said Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce President Jeannie Maltesen.
The grant was awarded for the Mid Vancouver Island Micro-fulfillment Centre, a project developed by Oceanside Initiatives — the economic development division of the chamber of commerce.
The centre will be a scalable, modular, configurable warehouse and delivery solution for businesses in the Oceanside region, Vancouver Island, and the Gulf Islands, according to the chamber.
Oceanside Initiatives plans to partner with the Nanoose First Nation to build the facility, which will have the capacity to create hundreds of jobs in the region, according to the chamber.
“It is our belief that this plan will greatly benefit our region by filling a gap in the current supply chain; demonstrates long-term economic sustainability, especially for women, young entrepreneurs, indigenous and persons with low barriers to employment; supports downtown business vitality and supports the sustainability of the Chambers of Commerce on Vancouver Island,” said Cindy Stern, chief executive officer of the Nanoose Economic Development Corp.
Oceanside Initiatives opened its doors in January last year through a grant provided
by WorkBC’s Community and Employer Partnerships program and by the ministry of social development and poverty reduction’s community and employer partnership fund for the purpose of establishing economic development with a focus on business retention and expansion programs.
“The Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce couldn’t be happier with the work that Oceanside Initiatives has been able to accomplish over the past 14 months. It has been our belief that a dedicated economic development function would greatly benefit our region and help bring the priorities of many of our region’s stakeholders together for the prosperity of businesses and citizens alike,” said Kim Burden, executive director of the Parksville and District and Qualicum Chambers of Commerce.