Councillors Tom Stringfellow, Rick Lundrigan and John Siebenga went to two businesses on Oct. 17 as part of the business walk.
They reported having a good experience and learned how the District can help businesses. Coun. Lundrigan heard from businesses that the District can help by developing a system for retiring owners to hand over their businesses.
“There are some businesses that don’t have succession plans due to the nature of the business — young people not getting into the workforce or that field,” Coun. Lundrigan said. “The thought process came up that maybe we could develop a list for people who, in the future, would like to own a business.”
“Then come down the road, work with these businesses and get the training they need … and possibly mentor that person into the job and into the business when the business owner decides to sell.”
Coun. Lundrigan rated his impression of the business walk as “very good”, and he received “very positive feedback”.
“Unfortunately, on the day we did it, we didn’t have a lot of participation, being a Saturday,” Coun. Lundrigan said. “Everybody we spoke to was very happy with the direction of [the District].”
Coun. Stringfellow said that business owners felt happy that the District were proactively engaging with them, and heard some concerns from them.
“The business owners brought up certain bylaws, certain taxes,” Coun. Stringfellow said. “These kind of things we can look and address in the future, try to get an understanding where they’re coming from.”
Coun. Siebenga repeated the positive note that these two councillors voiced, and added that the closing of Houston Forest Products did not affect businesses as much as they anticipated. He said no problems were raised during his visit.
Coun. Jonathan Van Barneveld did not attend October month’s business walks as he spent time away on personal matters.
The next business walk will happen in this month.