Ladysmith’s youth action committee is currently working out the business models on two one-of-a-kind Ladysmith ventures.
Youth, working with a $10,000 grant given to the Ladysmith Resources Centre, are currently exploring options for movie theatre or youth clothing/skate shop.
They will soon be presenting their models and putting the chosen idea forward to hopefully win a $200,000 grant to make the venture happen.
The push behind the projects is that everything, from the ideas to execution and hopefully staffing, is spearheaded by youth, with local business people acting as mentors.
Chad Schoolcraft, 19, is one of the youth pulling for a youth clothing store.
“From what I’ve heard and what I’ve talked about, a lot of youth here have bikes and things like that,” said Schoolcraft.
“We are looking at bikes, skateboards and clothing. Just having a mix store,” said Schoolcraft.
The clothing store team has been busily doing research and talking to other companies to get a better understanding of mark-ups and selection.
Schoolcraft said working on the project has been enjoyable, and certainly a steep learning curve, and his favourite part has been interacting with local business people.
A future in business, he said, is certainly not out of the question.
The other group is hoping their film project gets rolling.
There used to be a theatre in Ladysmith, so Paul Billas said the movie theatre team is trying to track down old equipment and the space to be able to make it happen.
Their team, too, is wrestling with such factors as movie distribution and licensing fees.
Billas said he will be working more with getting things done behind the scenes when the time comes.
“Now we are going to jump through the hoops of a business licence, where, and how do you get the rights to a movie,” said Billas.
Some of the buildings they were looking at for a theatre include, the old Home Hardware building and old RCMP station. Finding out who owns them and if they are available is part of the project.
“It’s still a real fledgling project. There’s a lot of hurdles we are going to have to jump.”
Sam Corrington, project co-ordinator with the resources centre, said support from the local business community has been overwhelming as many have stepped forward to offer their expertise and experience.
“It’s just been amazing,” said Corrington.
One organization pitching in is Employment Navigators, whose knowledge of local staffing trends is second to none, said Corrington, and Jenna Forster with the Downtown Business Association.
“We really have a range of business folks that have stepped forward,” said Corrington.
The most rewarding aspect, said Corrington, is letting youth take the lead on the project.
“And helping them realized their vision behind the two projects.”
The difference in scope and audience between the two ideas is also vast and encouraging, said Corrington, as each one presents its own challenges and contributions.