The City of Delta is launching a committee for North Delta businesses in the hopes that it will eventually turn into a local business association, after numerous false starts forming one in years past.
The move came about as part of a revamping of Delta council’s committees, of which there are now 11. City staff created six entirely news bodies — including the North Delta business initiative working group — and merged or modified several existing committees as a way to eliminate redundancies.
In establishing a working group of North Delta businesses, the city wants to dedicate staffing resources to what would eventually become a North Delta business association, similar to the Tsawwassen Business Improvement Association and Ladner Business Association. City manager Sean McGill told council that for as long as he has been with the city, he has not had a “good group” to confer with in the North Delta business community.
“What we’re trying to do is find a community event maybe to get someone to rally around, so that can be the impetus to starting it,” McGill said. “What we’re looking for is to have some kind of a business association that we can turn to.”
As opposed to in other parts of Delta, McGill told the Reporter, the city has to go to individual business owners in North Delta in order to get feedback on their undertakings. This new initiative would create “a collective group that we can work with to improve outreach for both Delta and the businesses.”
The ultimate goal, McGill said, is to have a self-funded North Delta BIA through which businesses can advance their mutual goals.
“If [the City of] Delta wants to go up there and work with local businesses together on a bi-local program, [for example],” he said, “there are all kinds of initiatives that we don’t have specific contacts for.”
At Monday’s council meeting, Coun. Lois Jackson said that during her tenure as mayor there were four attempts to start a business association along the Scott Road corridor, but none succeeded. She said it was difficult to get one started because business owners along the corridor oftentimes do not live in North Delta.
“I really think we should try this again,” Jackson said at council. “It really is needed in my opinion in North Delta and I really hope it’s successful.”
In order to better the chances of it working out this time around, McGill said the city will try to tie the launch of the initiative to one or two events in North Delta, though most of the operational details in terms of staffing and how to move forward still have to be worked out.
“So we’ll talk to the community. Through the Mayor’s office, we will launch part two and figure who we want to be part of this group or how we want people to be involved in it.”
City staff said recruitment for the committees will start this week by ways of ads in local newspapers as well as on the City of Delta website.