Everyone uses the term. From former Presidents at the Democratic National Convention, to property developers ranting at City Council about the Mayors activities, “Trickle Down” seems to be the catch phrase of the day.
The question is, are we prepared for the trickle down that is coming, because that trickle will soon become a torrent.
Consider this; Seymour Pacific, Berwick Retirement Community, Zeller’s to Target renovation and now the Super Valu to Winners renovation, all happening downtown over the next 18 to 24 months. None of these are small projects and they are happening in high traffic areas. They will add a hundred or more bodies (and almost as many vehicles) into an already fairly congested area, but that’s a good thing, as those same workers will use local eateries and coffee shops on a daily basis, not mention a wide variety of other downtown stores, due to their location. Are the restaurants and coffee shops ready for business to double, perhaps even triple, during their busiest times? Are local businesses preparing to attract all those people coming to work here on these projects? More importantly, who is leading this effort to prepare our community of the coming boom times?
OK. So those are four projects, just in the downtown. Now, let’s add the hospital, John Hart Dam, Merecorft / Dogwood apartments, the Mariners Square oil change building, the new Women’s shelter, a potential new homeless shelter, regular new housing development and renovation projects, the potential of new development at the former Catalyst site and, if my sources are correct, even more plans for the downtown in both renovations and new development. All local businesses will benefit from everything oriented around this building boom, from construction suppliers to hospitality providers. The “trickle down” will be significant. Some businesses will have to hire more people. Some will have to expand services. Some will have to order more product to meet demands, while others will have to increase production to meet those orders. Who is leading the charge to make sure that Campbell River is prepared for the coming supply and demand onslaught?
Truth is, unless I have been in a coma and missed it, the only word I have heard from anyone about “being prepared” was from the Mayor, when he suggested that staff look into the possibility of changing some of the restrictions around rental suites, in order for citizens to open their doors to the flood of construction workers that are to come.
Nothing from Rivercorp, cataloging and connectinig the services and needs of those businesses that are bringing ECONOMIC prosperity to our community. Nothing from the Chamber of Commerce trumpeting their membership and creating networking sessions with suppliers and service providers (unless you include their pay-per-use business portal). Nothing from City communications promoting what the community has to offer, other than the same stagnant navigation nightmare of a Website and a slightly more active Facebook page.
To be honest, I have no idea who is supposed to play Head Coach and get the team ready for this Big Game, but I would hope that the coaches we do have would step up and make sure that the team is at least THINKING about the game ahead. That helps make a winning team.