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What is The Social Planning Council?


o Monthly Meetings: Attend meetings with guest speakers from within the community &/or presentations at each meeting. We currently meet the fourth Monday of every month (excluding summer) at City Hall with light lunch by donation.

o Facebook & Email Group: Utilize the network on Facebook. Start discussions, learn about & share upcoming community events, projects and meetings. If you don’t use Facebook, then join the email network instead.

o Inform City Council: The SPC provides reports to City Council regularly and the City keeps the SPC informed. Use the network and have your voices heard.

Strategic Direction of the Social Planning Council of Williams Lake & Area:

o Poverty Reduction and the local Living Wage Campaign.

o Community Collaboration and Networking.

o Retention and Succession of residents within the Area.

Community Social Planning:

o Supports communities in building an integrated approach to complex problems that take into account social, economic, and environmental concerns.

o Maximizes the effectiveness of often scarce resources by working to reduce duplication, overlap and competition.

o Provides an ongoing forum for communication, coordination and conflict resolution.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Feb 23, 2015 SPC Meeting Minutes

Accept Mins & Agenda
Reviewed meeting minutes from Jan 26, 2015 - Changes: Kourtney Cook's roundtable update changed to read - Copper prices are at a five year low and there have been layoffs as a result.
Motion FSC

Reviewed meeting agenda for Feb 23, 2015 - added Darrell Garceau to the official agenda
Motion FSC

Revisit Action Items from last meeting: all completed

Guest Presentation by Larry Stranberg, Community Futures (Cariboo Chilcotin)
In 2011 Community Futures conducted a survey of small business owners in our service area and found:

Over 60% of the owners are over the age of 55 years
47% have been in business for over 15 years
61% provide services to the region
Employ on average 5 employees each
71% are looking for retirement
Majority have no plan in place to exit their business.

A quiet economic issue in our region (and nationally too), is that over the next 5 years, 1/4 of BC Businesses will go up for sale creating a large and diversified supply. In the Cariboo Chilcotin region alone approximately 3096  businesses could be for sale over the next 5 - 10 years and many of these businesses (1/3rd) will have to close their doors due to a lack of exit planning.

Research indicates that 75% of all business sales fail to close, and that lack of planning and preparation is identified as a key reason for the delay or lack of sale; along with what the seller needs to retire on. Unsold supply of businesses creates empty storefronts, loss of product and services and loss of tax base and infrastructure. It effects a quarter million of employees and their families and the sustainability of community lifestyle. On a global scale this is also an issue the United States, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Africa are facing. In Canada, it is estimated 75% of new growth will be by immigrants moving here.

In summary, there is a considerable and widespread competition for buyers globally and this buyers market will continue with the majority of buyers being foreign. Our market exposure must reach these foreign markets as "opportunity" being the primary attraction point; then location.

Large numbers of businesses owners want to sell, with the vast majority being unprepared. Businesses primed for sale have the best chance to sell.
Communities need replacement business owners.
Exiting business owners need a ROI (return on investment).

One program with paid professionals that can assists businesses owners to sell their business is "Venture Connect" who prepares and helps markets businesses for sale. The owners or real estate agent then lists and also markets the business for sale. Owners can contact them at www.ventureconnect.ca or 1-855-421-0082. A publication for our region comes out four times a year that lists local businesses for sale.

As a region, the Cariboo Chilcotin has much to offer. From lower housing prices, and greater access to the great outdoors, our area does have many benefits to help recruit and retain people... and for those who are looking - there are businesses for sale.

Q&A discussions that followed:
Q: What is more successful - buying an existing business or starting your own?
A: In most cases, buying an existing businesses has a better chance of success. Even when significant changes are made by the new owner.

Q: What proactive messaging is being done to address this issue?
A: One example is presentations to groups (such as this one). Please help spread the word.

Q: Is there data on what services are needed in the Williams Lake area?
A: Services for the Elderly, Hospitality, outdoor activities and "exotic" tourism are some examples of growth in our area.

Other notable comments included: This is a new way of thinking that is not taught in schools - buying a business is just as viable as starting your own. Our culture is changing with many people retiring from a "career" to then open a business of their own. Local businesses for sale range from small home based businesses, to large retail operations - there is a large variety to suit the needs of many.
Larry is able to give presentations to groups, provide more information and or help you buy or sell a business. He can be reached by calling the Community Futures office in Williams Lake at 1-888-879-5399, or visit the office at 266 Oliver Street or visit www.cfdccariboo.com for further information.

SPC Board Updates:
Update from meeting with Donna Barnett - Jan 29/15 (Carla Bullinger, Diane Wright and Shannon Thom in attendance):
Issues brought forth included Hospital renovations, succession and retention issues (including information from Community Futures), Adult Literacy & Skills readiness training, and asked for updates on the new Rural Advisory Council, and what are her priority "plans" going forward. Our goal for this meeting was to find the proper and best way to communicate with our MLA for consultation and feedback purposes.

Donna was very pleased to learn about the activities of the SPC. The Rural Advisory Council is a new initiative still under development. Her "plans" moving forward are to work on initiatives that receive the greatest support and interest. She will attend the June SPC meeting in person.

Update from Transit Stakeholders Meeting - Feb 4/15
There was a good a representative turnout for this first meeting with over 30 people in attendance from numerous organizations and stakeholders. The meeting was a cafe style and the themes that emerged including longer service hours, shorter and more routes, frequency of buses and safety concerns.

Some general statistics for the WL area: there are 6 busses, with 5 part-time drivers, in 2013 - 2014 there was 88K passengers with fare revenues being approximately $6500/month. A copy of the full presentation is available on their website (or we can send it by email).

A second stakeholders meeting will take place later this spring.

Update from SPC re: SD no 27's Community Use of Facilities
In summary, the SPC has continued to offer our support to SD no 27 with the goal being affordable facilities that are useable by groups needing them. At this time, the new SD Board is deciding on a process of review and it was recommended by Mark Thiessen to follow-up with Kevin Futcher again later in the year to revisit this issue.

Update from City re: recent staff changes
Darrell Garceau from the City of Williams Lake spoke to the SPC table regarding the recent staff changes at the City.

Darrell assured that the City was not "going backwards" in any of their social development projects or participation in projects such as Communities that Care, Love the Puddle or Small Town Big Love, or participation with the SPC. In lieu of Anne, Darrell is available to attend SPC meetings and provide support as available. Communication between the SPC, the City and City Council and reformalizing the MOU are priorities. The City also offers the SPC to use the City page in the newspaper for greater exposure. It was also noted that the City's online presence is growing with agendas posted online (highly read) and City Hall meetings will be streaming online in the near future.

City grant in aids, and fee for services to community organizations is another way the City is supporting community initiatives that require assistance.

Housing is also something on the City's "radar" and there is already 4 - 5 new subdivisions approved with approximately 40 - 50 lots of single family homes being developed this year.

Revitalization of the downtown core is also a high priority and the BIA last year was given a budget increase to work on this. Note - most of the downtown businesses are lessee's rather than owners which limits their ability to participate in this process. There is currently a roundtable group consisting of Community Futures, the BIA and the Chamber of Commerce. Regarding residential suites in the upper levels of downtown businesses - this is still something the City would like to see (and is in the OCP), but building code regulations makes this very costly for owners to make this transition (cost of new construction is cheaper than making renovations.

Some new projects this year include new construction with mixed use including residential. The City is also working with the BIA to make an entrance to the trailhead near the Station House Gallery to "open the hub". The transit review is also of importance.

The OCP is an important community document that Council is determined to keep "alive", and will provide an advocacy role for this development.

Councillor Walters assured the City will attend SPC meetings to maintain strength within the community, to bring silos together and to continue to do great work together (the last few years there has been so much development in this area... let's continue!)

There was some discussion about the SPC joining the roundtable as mentioned above. There was mixed feelings about this as currently there is a great working relationship and bringing another group into the mix might not be the best option right now. Councillors Zacharias & Walters both supports the SPC being at this table.

Q&A  & comments:
It is encouraging to see resources and the will to work and acknowledge the initiatives outlined in the OCP which drives our community.

Small groups do the best work (more than some government positions).

The Mills should update the SPC about the ramifications of the annual allowable cut.

The new Council should be re-educated on the visions outlined in the OCP.

Of the small towns with less than 25K people, 9/10 are having troubles with their downtown cores (vacant buildings, for lease signs, boarded up windows etc.

Racism, drug & alcohol abuse, and violence is very prevalent in this City and needs to be addressed. In response to this, it was mentioned that Chief Ann presented the issue of racism to council last year and discussions have began to take place.

Affordable daycare is greatly lacking in the City. At Family Fest, 71/80 people said yes to needing daycare services over a 24 hour period (not just day time) due to many shift workers. This problem is enhanced by the fact that the ECE program takes 2 year to complete for a job that pays less than a living wage (approx 12 - 18/hr). In response to this, it was noted we must continue to advocate for 10/day daycare to Christy Clark.

Conversations need to go both ways - e.g. Early Years groups, Success by Six and the ECDN can talk about this all the time, but businesses need to hear the message and join the conversation too if any progress is to be made.

There is opportunities for leadership training with Eli Mina. Sports groups can participate in this training as well.

Action - Darrell will send info regarding Eli Mina to Jessica.
Action - ask the BIA present at a future SPC meeting.
Action - revisit participating in the roundtable group in the future.

Monthly Briefing Template - tabled to next meeting
Discuss and review template for monthly de-briefings to be sent to City Council once a month.

Strategic Planning for 2015 - tabled to next meeting
Discuss dates, time and the best format for creating an action oriented strategic work plan for 2015 that incorporates the already structured SPC main pillars.

Roundtable Updates (those not included via weekly emails)
Shannon Thom - WLES is in it's third week of the new older worker program (ten males are in this program).

Bruce Mack - the CCPL was successful in getting 1 of 6 provincial grants to change our culture of learning.

The rest of the updates were included in the community update emails.

The next SPC monthly meeting will be held on March 23rd at 11:30 am location TBA.

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Contact Us

The Social Planning Council is made up of volunteers from the community. Many of us work in social services agencies or also volunteer for other organizations.

Our Mailing Address is Box 20045, Williams Lake BC V2G 4R1

To reach the Society Coordinator Jessica Dunn please email spc-coordinator@xplornet.com or call 250-243-2126

To reach the Communities that Care Project Manager Carla Bullinger please email carla@caribooliteracy.com or call 250-267-8249

To reach the THRIVE Williams Lake Project Manager Anne Burrill please email anne@changemakerconsulting.ca or call 250-267-7211

To reach the current SPC Chair Larry Stranberg please email happytrails@cfdccariboo.com or call 250-392-3626