Business notes: Peninsula Co-op donation keeps train chugging

Peninsula Co-op has donated $20,000 to Duncan’s BC Forest Discovery Centre

Peninsula Co-op has donated $20,000 to Duncan’s BC Forest Discovery Centre to help its $125,000 project to restore its iconic Hillcrest #1 Shay Locomotive.

The initiative is part of the centre’s “Full Steam Ahead” project.

Crofton’s GeoTech, which is widely recognized for its expertise in the construction and refurbishing of pressure vessels, has been contracted to design, construct and manage the building of a new boiler for the Shay Locomotive.

Penny Sopel, Peninsula Co-op’s marketing and community relations manager, said she’s “excited” about the project.

“I’ve certainly learned a lot about trains since Co-op got involved with the project,” she said.

“Co-op is part of the Cowichan Valley and the community and we like to give back when we can.”

Round Table Series leads to new dialogue

A new level of dialogue among the business community in the Cowichan Valley is opening up after recent discussions at the Cowichan Business Leaders’ Round Table Series.

The series is a partnership between Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce, Community Futures, Economic Development Cowichan and MNP LLP.

Over the past three months, approximately 60 business owners and operators from across the Cowichan region in tourism, agriculture, retail, manufacturing, technology, construction and real estate have provided valuable insight during the discussions on opportunities and barriers to doing business in the area.

“Cowichan businesses have been innovative in creating and expanding their marketplace and remaining sustainable,” said Ron Lees from MNP LLP who facilitated the meetings.

“As partners, we’re learning that through collaboration with business, we can create a stronger vision for Cowichan’s economic future, and start to address many long-standing issues.”

Cowichan Sound and Cellular give $20,000

Telus and Telus dealer Cowichan Sound & Cellular have donated more than $20,000 to 10 local charities in the Cowichan Valley as part of their “Give Where You Live” campaign.

Corrine de Lange, president of Cowichan Sound & Cellular, said last year, every new Optik TV customer in the Cowichan Valley had been invited to choose the local participating charity of their choice, and $25 was donated on their behalf

The 10 charities included the Cowichan United Way and the Cowichan District Hospital Foundation.

“It’s the first time we worked together with Telus on this campaign, and we’re very pleased with the response,” she said.

$10K for DBIA will help create plan for future

The Downtown Duncan Business Improvement Area Society will receive $10,000 from the province’s B.C. Rural Dividend Fund.

The funding is mainly earmarked to develop a longer-term plan for the business improvement society aimed at improving business and economic opportunities in the region.

DBIA president Judy Stafford said that includes strengthening existing partnerships and creating new ones that will benefit local landlords, business owners, restaurants and professional services.

“This grant will allow the society to leverage our current resources and assist us in looking further ahead to plan for a stronger, more resilient community,” she said.

The funding is part of approximately $750,000 that Victoria has committed towards supporting economic diversification in rural B.C.

The money will be distributed among 18 local governments, 12 First Nations and 47 not-for-profit organizations around the province.

Robert.Barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com