Local Business

The first cruise ship of the 2019 season – the Celebrity Eclipse – docks in Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)

Tourism spending in Canada dropped by almost 50 per cent in 2020

Tourism-related jobs dropped by almost 29 per cent

Victoria’s Fairmont Empress hotel closed for three months in late 2020, early 2021, to undergo renovations in leveraging slower hotel traffic because of COVID-19 restrictions. A new report from Statistics Canada find many businesses in the accommodation and food services sector are bracing for another tough year. (Courtesy of Fairmont Empress hotel)

Survey finds Canada’s hospitality industry has low expectations for year ahead

Almost 87 per cent of businesses in accommodation and food services report lower revenues in 2020

Nelson’s moratorium on food trucks in the downtown area is intended to protect brick-and-mortar businesses during the pandemic. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Nelson council extends downtown food truck ban on city property

Trucks will be allowed in other areas of the city

Nelson’s moratorium on food trucks in the downtown area is intended to protect brick-and-mortar businesses during the pandemic. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Kootenay Co-op is among the local businesses participating in the travel voucher program. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay Co-op is among the local businesses participating in the travel voucher program. Photo: Submitted
The Slocan Park Community Hall is one of several Kootenay building upgrades being funded by the Columbia Basin Trust. Photo: Heritage BC

Slocan Park and Slocan receive CBT grant for building upgrades

Grants will make community hall and Legion hall more energy efficient

The Slocan Park Community Hall is one of several Kootenay building upgrades being funded by the Columbia Basin Trust. Photo: Heritage BC
Card-y Be: Kootenay Co-op Radio will be reaching out to 6,000 homes throughout the Nelson area, from Blewett to Proctor, in an effort to boost their membership after a challenging year. The little local station celebrated its 20th anniversary last year. KCR’s sponsorship and advertising co-ordinator Amelie Sauquet holds all three versions of new promotional cards that will be arriving in mailboxes next week. Photo: Darren Davidson
Card-y Be: Kootenay Co-op Radio will be reaching out to 6,000 homes throughout the Nelson area, from Blewett to Proctor, in an effort to boost their membership after a challenging year. The little local station celebrated its 20th anniversary last year. KCR’s sponsorship and advertising co-ordinator Amelie Sauquet holds all three versions of new promotional cards that will be arriving in mailboxes next week. Photo: Darren Davidson
Ben Andrews holds a pair of FireVines’ seasonally ideal sippers. Since 2017, FireVines has been doing great business with bars, restaurants and resorts across the province and beyond. Now, you can find the local brand’s hot apple cider or mulled wine at your local liquor, beer or wine store, or from the FireVines site, firevines.com. Photo: Darren Davidson

COLUMN: Last call at All Seasons, hospitality hurting amidst perfect storm

Darren Davidson has the latest on Nelson’s business community

Ben Andrews holds a pair of FireVines’ seasonally ideal sippers. Since 2017, FireVines has been doing great business with bars, restaurants and resorts across the province and beyond. Now, you can find the local brand’s hot apple cider or mulled wine at your local liquor, beer or wine store, or from the FireVines site, firevines.com. Photo: Darren Davidson
Touchstones Nelson is amongst a number of arts and culture venues in Nelson that have found ways to survive through the pandemic in 2020. The sector has been particularly hard hit by tough COVID protocols and the economic downturn. Photo: Darren Davidson

BUSINESS BUZZ: 2020 from K-Z

Part 2 of the Nelson Star’s alphabetical year-end review

Touchstones Nelson is amongst a number of arts and culture venues in Nelson that have found ways to survive through the pandemic in 2020. The sector has been particularly hard hit by tough COVID protocols and the economic downturn. Photo: Darren Davidson
Sam Baio, owner of Nelson’s Valhalla Pure Outfitters, says he’s keeping his store closed on Boxing Day due to COVID-19 crowd concerns. Photo: Tyler Harper

Wary of the pandemic, Nelson businesses opt to stay closed on Boxing Day

They say the profit isn’t worth the potential of infection

Sam Baio, owner of Nelson’s Valhalla Pure Outfitters, says he’s keeping his store closed on Boxing Day due to COVID-19 crowd concerns. Photo: Tyler Harper
It takes a village — If retail trends in outdoor soft and hard goods and motorsports are any indication, it’s going to be a busy 2021 in the West Kootenay backcountry. Ski and snowboard touring gear, snowmobiles, snowshoes — even snowblowers — have sold at a record pace. Local shopping support has been critical for businesses throughout town this year, including Main Jet Motorsports, whose staff posed for the Chamber of Commerce’s Support Local, Stay Safe campaign last week. Photo: Darren Davidson

BUSINESS BUZZ: Hey 2020. ABC-ya later

Part 1 of the Nelson Star’s alphabetical year-end review

  • Dec 15, 2020
It takes a village — If retail trends in outdoor soft and hard goods and motorsports are any indication, it’s going to be a busy 2021 in the West Kootenay backcountry. Ski and snowboard touring gear, snowmobiles, snowshoes — even snowblowers — have sold at a record pace. Local shopping support has been critical for businesses throughout town this year, including Main Jet Motorsports, whose staff posed for the Chamber of Commerce’s Support Local, Stay Safe campaign last week. Photo: Darren Davidson
Buddy’s wants council to expand its downtown maximum from two businesses to three cannabis businesses. Photo: Tyler Harper

Buddy’s Place to apply to Nelson council for permanent downtown status

Online presentation and survey will take place Thursday, Dec. 10

Buddy’s wants council to expand its downtown maximum from two businesses to three cannabis businesses. Photo: Tyler Harper
Nelson city council conducted an online resident survey about patios and food trucks and got over a thousand responses. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Nelson city council conducted an online resident survey about patios and food trucks and got over a thousand responses. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
In quick response to last week’s unprecedented province-wide health order, the Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce distributed over 150 posters aimed at reminding residents to wear masks while in businesses and public buildings, and to Think Local. L-R: The Chamber’s Val Yowek, Denise McInnes and executive director Tom Thomson, mask up and buckle down. Photo: Darren Davidson

BUSINESS BUZZ: Stay calm and shop on, Snowwater sells Valhalla, Grey Owl gives ‘er

Columnist Darren Davidson on the latest happenings in business

  • Nov 26, 2020
In quick response to last week’s unprecedented province-wide health order, the Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce distributed over 150 posters aimed at reminding residents to wear masks while in businesses and public buildings, and to Think Local. L-R: The Chamber’s Val Yowek, Denise McInnes and executive director Tom Thomson, mask up and buckle down. Photo: Darren Davidson
L-R: Kootenay Co-op general manager Ari Derfel, grocery manager Erin Morrison, and security guard Akshay Sharma. The Kootenay Co-op has hired a security company to protect staff from abusive customers who don’t wish to wear masks. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Mask acceptance varies between different business outlets in Nelson

A small percentage of shoppers have tried flouting the rule, and Kootenay Co-op has hired a security guard.

L-R: Kootenay Co-op general manager Ari Derfel, grocery manager Erin Morrison, and security guard Akshay Sharma. The Kootenay Co-op has hired a security company to protect staff from abusive customers who don’t wish to wear masks. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
“I’d like to thank city council for trusting me in the winter patio project.” – Nick Diamond, manager of Main Street Diner in front of his sidewalk cafe that will be staying in place all winter: Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Nelson council allows four winter sidewalk cafes

The decision is a response to struggles by restaurants during the pandemic

“I’d like to thank city council for trusting me in the winter patio project.” – Nick Diamond, manager of Main Street Diner in front of his sidewalk cafe that will be staying in place all winter: Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Designed by architect Thomas Loh, a new building is under construction at the interception of Victoria and Josephine following a major fire in June. The new location will have room for two ground level businesses, and three live/work studios upstairs, two occupied by returning tenants Divine Alchemy Tattoos and Tarynn Lloyd’s pottery studio. Illustration submitted

BUSINESS BUZZ: Rising from the ashes, city eyes up to $200M in projects

Darren Davidson’s monthly column about business in Nelson

  • Sep 23, 2020
Designed by architect Thomas Loh, a new building is under construction at the interception of Victoria and Josephine following a major fire in June. The new location will have room for two ground level businesses, and three live/work studios upstairs, two occupied by returning tenants Divine Alchemy Tattoos and Tarynn Lloyd’s pottery studio. Illustration submitted
Applications for the first of three pitch competition events at the Nelson Innovation Centre must be submitted by Sept. 24. Photo: Nelson Innovation Centre

Nelson Innovation Centre to host pitch competition

Deadline to apply for the first of three events is Sept. 24

Applications for the first of three pitch competition events at the Nelson Innovation Centre must be submitted by Sept. 24. Photo: Nelson Innovation Centre
Flex on Decks: Jason Flexhaug and Georgia Bonderud of Flexy’s Okanagan Fresh Fruit, located on Nelson Avenue across from Hume School. Flexy’s turned 20 this year. Photo: Darren Davidson

BUSINESS BUZZ: COVID and cash, ATCO’s Weatherford heads Selkirk board, and more

Darren Davidson brings us the latest goings-on in the local business world

  • Aug 14, 2020
Flex on Decks: Jason Flexhaug and Georgia Bonderud of Flexy’s Okanagan Fresh Fruit, located on Nelson Avenue across from Hume School. Flexy’s turned 20 this year. Photo: Darren Davidson
SMRT1 Technologies founder Brad Pommen (right) has entered into an agreement to supply smart vending machines technology to Vancouver-based UpMeals. Photo submitted

Nelson’s SMRT1 Technologies to provide vending tech to Vancouver company

UpMeals will launch 22 machines across Canada using SMRT1’s personalized machines

SMRT1 Technologies founder Brad Pommen (right) has entered into an agreement to supply smart vending machines technology to Vancouver-based UpMeals. Photo submitted