Upcoming budget discussions in Sidney will look into hiring an outside contractor to help develop a long-term economic strategy. (Black Press Media File)

Upcoming budget discussions in Sidney will look into hiring an outside contractor to help develop a long-term economic strategy. (Black Press Media File)

Sidney businesses, council working together on long-term economic pandemic strategy

Search for outside consultant part of 2021 budget discussions

Sidney will look into developing a long-term economic strategy, with businesses being asked for additional input on how to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

In November, council unanimously approved having the municipality consider an “appropriate” budget to work with a contractor to develop a long-term economic strategy next year against the backdrop of COVID-19.

Councillors also approved having the town work with Sidney Business Improvement Area (BIA) Society and the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce to develop a follow-up survey of businesses impacted by COVID-19 – at a cost of $5,000 – during the first quarter of 2021.

RELATED:Pandemic hurt almost eight out of 10 Sidney businesses, says survey

An earlier survey found almost 10 respondents (79 per cent) reported the pandemic had negatively impacted their business, with 15.5 per cent saying they experienced what the report calls “business-as-usual” conditions. The rest — 5.5 per cent — said the pandemic had a positive impact on their operations.

The two decisions flowed out of a meeting of Sidney’s economic advisory committee in late October that revealed some support but also reservations about the measures, according to the committee minutes.

RELATED: Sidney surveys residents about their pandemic experiences

Chief administrative officer Randy Humble “expressed concerns” about conducting a survey because of on-going COVID restrictions and what the minutes call “survey fatigue,” a point also echoed by Andrew Hicik, Sidney’s director of corporate services and chief financial officer. According to the minutes, Hicik described businesses in “survival mode” and questioned how much they will want to engage in a survey.

The survey idea had several supporters among committee members including Denny Warner, executive director of the chamber, and Brad Edgett, Sidney BIA’s president.

Some committee members, however, appeared less enthusiastic toward the idea of developing a long-term strategy. Rod Hunchak, director of business development and community relations for the Victoria Airport Authority, agreed with the survey, because it may shed light on some business priorities. But going beyond a survey would have no value, he added, noting that the airport has scrapped long-term planning, looking ahead only in terms of months or the next quarter.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Environment Canada has issued a wind warning for Greater Victoria, with winds expected to get up to 70 km/h Friday morning. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Wind warning promises blustery Friday for Greater Victoria

Winds up to 70 km/h expected Friday morning

Passengers in rows 13 to 19 on Air Canada Jazz flight 8069 from Vancouver to Victoria Feb. 28 were exposed to a case of COVID-19. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
COVID-19 exposure found on flight from Vancouver to Victoria

Passengers in rows 13 to 19 on Air Canada Jazz flight 8069 Feb. 28 affected

Low interest rates have acted as a catalyst for the pandemic real estate market. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy)
Real estate sales surging across Greater Victoria but risks lie ahead

Single family home prices jump nine per cent over past year while condo values remain stable

Crews deal with a rock slide on the Malahat section of Highway 1 in 2017. (Black Press Media file photo)
Rock work closes Highway 1 in Langford for spurts

Friday closures could delay drivers up to 20 minutes

Crews disassemble the iconic red and white KFC bucket from a sign on Goldstream Avenue. (Photo courtesy of Mark Schoor)
Iconic KFC bucket removed from Goldstream Avenue

Popular fast-food chain closes Langford location

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Comox Valley RCMP conducted a raid of a problem house on 20th… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

A Cowichan Valley mom is wondering why masks haven’t been mandated for elementary schools. (Metro Creative photo)
B.C. mom frustrated by lack of mask mandate for elementary students

“Do we want to wait until we end up like Fraser Health?”

Most Read