September 17, 2013 - 9:43 AM
KAMLOOPS – The current mission of the executive director of the Business Improvement Association is selling the North Shore to realtors and homebuyers as a great place to live, go to school and do business.
Steven Puhallo says it's been a bit of an uphill battle but it's one he will continue to fight until people realize what a wonderful community the North Shore is.
“Some realtors won't show clients homes on the North Shore,” he says, “so some people are quite surprised at what a nice community it really is.”
Convincing realtors investment on the North Shore is worthwhile might be one of the harder things Puhallo has in store but investment from businesses were growing steadily, even before Puhallo took the reins.
He only joined the association a few months ago and doesn't yet have the statistics for vacancy rates but says it is very noticeable that a lot of businesses are setting up or expanding shop in the community and investments from the city in road and lighting improvements also show a positive growth in the area.
Last week the association debuted a “We are the North Shore” media campaign as a way of getting all of Kamloops to stand up and take note of the thriving community. The more visible media helps put the North Shore in direct competition with the Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association for new businesses looking for a place to open up.
Puhallo says while the two associations work well together he was hired to promote the North Shore, and that is what he'll do.
“We've got a great relationship, I get together with Gay (Pooler) from the KCBIA regularly,” Puhallo says, “but why wouldn't you choose North Shore?”
Both areas have faced higher than desired vacancy rates in recent years and while lack of parking and higher rent are usually the off-putting aspects of setting up in downtown it's the North Shore stereotype that has businesses turning away from that area.
To help fight that stereotype the association has put together the media campaign and has been working hard at strengthening a presence on social media. In addition Puhallo helped to organize the Overlanders Days summer festival, geared towards getting people to the area, and plans for a possible winter festival are also underway. He says these events are all a great way to showcase the community he is proud of.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013