2013 was a doozy in terms of economic activity in Nanaimo, and 2014 looks pretty good too.
That’s the basic message from Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation CEO Sasha Angus, who presented his latest update to City Council Monday night.
Angus highlighted projects like the new downtown hotel and the Divers Lake Technology Park.
He also says preliminary results from a business survey show 50 per cent of Nanaimo businesses are expecting improved conditions for 2014, and about 15 per cent plan to make a new investment in their operations.
Angus says the challenges are mainly tied to demographics, with both the workforce and business owners getting older. He says NEDC plans to focus on attracting, training and keeping skilled workers and on attracting new investors and keeping young entrepreneurs in the city.
Angus also faced questions about what NEDC is doing to address rising ferry costs, which could pose a threat to tourism and economic activity.
Angus also says a recently launched campaign to encourage Victoria-based businesses to consider a move up-Island is already generating a lot of interest.