The Business Walks program started in British Columbia in 2012 as a new way for communities to engage in effective business retention. A short survey is conducted with business owners once a year to determine how the business community is doing and what challenges it is facing. The survey questions are similar across the province which allows communities to gauge their success based on their own past performance and that of neighbouring communities or communities of a similar size/demographic.
Business Walks allows economic development, government, and Chamber to identify common themes that require action. By addressing issues brought up directly from businesses, we can foster further business growth. Business Walks allows us to gather more than simply anecdotal evidence which means our action plans can be more robust and better informed.
When did Hope start Business Walks?Business Walks started with a test walk in February 2016. This gave us a solid baseline of data and allowed us to streamline our process.
What is the format for Business Walks?Volunteers meet in the morning, break into pairs, and get a stack of surveys and a list of businesses to visit. Volunteers then spend approximately three hours meeting with as many owners as possible. If an owner or manager is not on site, then volunteers will leave the survey to be filled out and returned at their convenience. If volunteers find themselves running out of time, they will drop surveys off at as many business as they can and let owners/managers know where they completed surveys can be returned.
When is the next walk?Business Walks now occurs annually in the fall.
How can I get involved?Business Walks is the most successful when we have enough 'walkers' to reach as many businesses as possible. We have found that business owners are excited to share their industry intelligence, successes, and challenges with us. As a result, it can be difficult to reach every bricks and mortar business without a lot of volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering for Business Walks, watch this page for a call for volunteers in the fall or contact us any time.
What if my business was not visited?Then we still want to hear from you! If your business was missed during the last walk then it simply means our volunteers ran out of time. You can download the latest survey at the bottom of this page and email it or drop it off at the AdvantageHOPE office (919 Water Avenue).