Matt Delange of Surespan Redi Mix, a business located close to Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit, expressed his support for the track’s expansion plans. Delange, wearing a carnation in his lapel, was surrounded by several other business people adorned with carnations indicating their support for VIMC. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Business notes: Business community behind Motorsport expansion

Business owners and business organizations are supportive of the Circuit’s operation on Highway 18.

The Cowichan Valley business community appears to be solidly behind the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit’s plan to expand its facility.

If the turnout at last Wednesday’s North Cowichan council meeting is any indication, business owners and business organizations are supportive of the Circuit’s operation on Highway 18.

Since its opening three years ago, the facility has been the subject of strong opposition and legal action from some residents in the Sahtlam neighbourhood who have complained about noise coming from vehicles using the track.

However, a number of business folks, including an accountant, hockey executive and others were prepared to get up and give their nod of approval to the proposal to expand the Circuit. Since the number of speakers at this public meeting was limited to just five, another three dozen people will have to wait until the public hearing in early October for their chance.

All five speakers were pro-expansion.

Matt Delange, general manager of Surespan Redi Mix, says his company has benefitted since the arrival of VIMC three years ago.

“At that time 90 per cent of our business was off-Island. Now 25 per cent of our business is on the Island,” he told council.

A number of men wearing pro-expansion T-shirts were also at the meeting, lobbying for the development that would create dozens of jobs in the local labour market.

The Aug. 21 council meeting, held at the Ramada Hotel, gave first and second reading to the zoning amendment bylaw, moving it forward to a public hearing and a vote on the proposal that has been recommended by North Cowichan staff.

• • •

The Downtown Duncan Business Improvement Area has announced the launch of its newly redeveloped Downtown Duncan Facade Improvement & Beautification Program.

Downtown revitalization is one of the DDBIA’s top priorities and this program, produced in partnership with the City of Duncan, is a means to help attract more people and businesses to downtown Duncan.

There are two different types of grants available to eligible businesses and/or property owners.

The first is a Facade Improvement Grant with a value of up to $7,500. The applicant must contribute a minimum of $2,500 towards the improvement. In 2019 and 2020 priority will be given to applicants on Jubilee Street and Kenneth Street.

The Downtown Development Committee will review all applications and choose two each year. The deadline for this year’s first intake is Sept. 30.

The Beautification Grant provides funding for up to $1,000 towards minor improvements.

For more information contact Elissa Smith at the DDBIA office: 250-715-1700 or office@downtownduncan.ca

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