Johanna St. Michael

In Gordon Head, home is where the work is

Though the Saanich neighbourhood is almost entirely residential, a thriving home-based business community exists within its boundaries.

Residents of Gordon Head may be surprised to learn just how much business is being done in their own back yard.

Though the Saanich neighbourhood is almost entirely residential, a thriving home-based business community exists within its boundaries. It includes everything from aromatherapy to pet-sitting, Spanish language instruction to bookkeeping and more.

The problem that many of these businesses face, however, is that they have a relatively low profile. That’s something Ramona Scott is hoping to change.

“I moved here from a small town and it seemed like it was just houses, and it’s hard to get to meet people, and you didn’t know what was going on in the neighbourhood,” Scott explained. “Every once in a while I would hear about somewhere you could get your hair cut, or some other business down the street. I wished there was a directory.”

So she created an online listing of all the people in her neighbourhood who work from home. Though the site is only a few weeks old, it’s already attracted nearly 20 different businesses. And this weekend many of them will come together for the Gordon Head Business Fair, an event organized by Scott.

“Everyone I talked to about (a fair) thought it was a great idea. Businesses thought it would be a good idea to get their name out there more,” said Scott, who herself offers math tutoring services out of her home.

The goal is to build a thriving business community within Gordon Head. “The idea is that you could walk down the street to your neighbour and get what you need instead of driving somewhere else,” Scott said.

So far at least a dozen people have registered for the fair. Johanna St. Michael, who runs a graphic design business and also works as a beauty consultant, is looking forward to the event. She’s even offered up her services to help promote it.

“I like the thought of getting to know your community,” said St. Michael. “It’s like the business version of the hundred-mile diet, or the zero-mile diet. It’s neat to be able to see who’s out there and support them.”

The Gordon Head Business Fair goes Saturday at Lambrick Park Church, 1780 Feltham Rd., from 10 a.m. to noon. Admission is free. For more info, check out www.gordonheadhomebusinesses.ca.

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