Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce front entrance (Cole Schisler photo)

Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce front entrance (Cole Schisler photo)

Chamber of Commerce gives economic outlook for Ladysmith

Drysdale said that the Town of Ladysmith has worked hard to improve conditions for small businesses

Mark Drysdale of the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce said that Ladysmith’s economy has been stable over the past year, and has grown.

Ladysmith was slow to recover from the Great Recession of 2008, however when it did recover, the community “took off”, Drysdale said.

“Half the storefronts had for lease signs on them. Looking back four years ago even, downtown looked like it was for rent. Fast forward four years, and there’s nothing available. Economically, right now the times are good.”

RELATED: Ladysmith Chamber president speaks up for local business at meeting with provincial ministers

Despite the economic recovery, some challenges persist for Ladysmith businesses. Drysdale said one of the top challenges he hears from business is around access to labour. Businesses are having trouble finding the right people for the right jobs. Drysdale has also heard that taxation changes at the federal and provincial level have been challenging as well.

Drysdale said that the Town of Ladysmith, and Mayor Aaron Stone in particular, have worked hard to improve conditions for small businesses.

“From my perspective, I think they’ve been pretty good… I think Mayor Stone, being a small business owner has tried pretty hard to put economic development support systems in place for the community,” Drysdale said.

The Town and the Chamber are collaborating on an heritage and investment attraction project that will see a new app and website developed to facilitate investment in Ladysmith.

RELATED: Here’s what the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce does for you

Drysdale is enthusiastic about new developments in Ladysmith and the area, including the Traveller’s Hotel, Raven Point Marina and Inn, the Oyster Bay Development, and the Nanaimo Airport. He’s especially enthusiastic about the Waterfront Plan.

“That waterfront development piece — it’s going to be a long term project — but it’s exciting. That could really put Ladysmith on the map with some of the developments that could potentially go in there,” Drysdale said.

Overall, Drsydale said most business owners are happy to be in Ladysmith. The benefits of operating a small business in Ladysmith far outweigh the challenges that come with it.

With new housing developments popping up around Ladysmith, it’s a signal that the community is setting itself up as a desirable place to relocate to. Drysdale said that over the past few years, the Chamber — which also operates at the Ladysmith visitor’s centre — has seen a large increase in inquires about relocation.

“We’ve had tons and tons of requests about relocation over the past several years,” Drysdale said.

Drysdale predicts that Ladysmith is set up to sustain economic growth over the next couple decades with plenty of opportunity for business development. He believes that the growth can be balanced with all the elements that make Ladysmith special.

The Ladysmith Chamber is hosting two upcoming speakers series events: A Community Update with Mayor Aaron Stone on November 6, and Mastering Your Business for Maximum Profit and Success with Colin Sprake on November 19. RSVP for both events through ladysmithcofc.com

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

Just Posted

A boat caught fire in Ladysmith Harbour on Saturday morning. (Photo submitted)
Missing woman’s remains recovered from Ladysmith harbour

The remains of a 60 year old woman were recovered after a boat fire took her life on Feb. 27

Ladysmith Secondary School. (File photo)
Ladysmith Secondary reports another COVID-19 exposure

This makes LSS the school with the most exposure days in the Island Health region currently

Plantitude’s ‘Stargazer Bubbles’. (Plantitude photo)
Plantitude offers ‘stargazer bubble’ dining experience

The 10 foot by seven foot bubbles can seat up to six people

It’s been almost a year since the last public performance inside the Chemainus Theatre. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Lead donors pledge $60,000 in matching campaign at the Chemainus Theatre

Perrys, Hiltons and Duncan Iron Works help to Bridge the Gap during COVID shutdown

Doug Routley is the chair of a special committee on reforming the Police Act. (File photo)
Routley selected chair of a special committee on reforming the Police Act

Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA acknowledges there will be a lot of material to process

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Initiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

This was the scene outside North Saanich’s Parkland Secondary School after an attempted but unsuccessful break-and-enter into the school torched an ATM inside of it. Sidney/North Saanich RCMP did not make any arrests and currently lack suspects as the investigation continues. Members of the public who may have witnessed something or possess other information can contact police at (250) 656-3931 or to Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. (Submitted)
Money to burn: burglars torch North Saanich high school ATM

Police dogs searched the exterior and interior of the school after early morning break-and-enter

The first of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft—the Dash-8—becomes operational. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s new De Havilland Dash-8-100 long-range surveillance air craft is capable of staying aloft for eight to 10 hours for a variety of missions up and down the B.C. coast. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
New plane will double DFO’s surveillance capacity in B.C.

The Dash-8 will fly out of Campbell River for enforcement, conservation missions

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

Most Read