On-street patios have been an added attraction to Salmon Arm’s downtown during the pandemic. (File photo)

On-street patios have been an added attraction to Salmon Arm’s downtown during the pandemic. (File photo)

Many new businesses open in downtown Salmon Arm despite COVID-19

At Downtown Salmon Arm’s annual general meeting, staff thanked for all their work and collaboration

Despite all the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Downtown Salmon Arm witnessed many successes over the past year.

At the April 20 annual general meeting of the organization – also know as the Salmon Arm Downtown Improvement Association – staff and directors spoke of positive developments in 2021.

Manager Jen Broadwell said over the last year, DSA welcomed more than 30 new businesses, either new or relocated, into the downtown core.

“Which, if you walk down the streets of downtown Salmon Arm you know it. There’s hardly a vacancy. I think there’s one in the process of being filled and there’s only one remaining on Shuswap Street that hasn’t been filled,” she said. “We have really seen a powerful growth movement in the downtown streets, welcoming new people into our community and into our storefronts.”

Broadwell named a few of the new businesses and proprietors, including Still Food Bistro, Grillers, Rikki Lou Who’s Gift Emporium, Lone Star Barber, Radiant Goddess, Forage General, MisMacK Clean Cosmetics, Anvil Coffee, Man Woman Home, and the introduction of the Visitor Centre’s mobile unit and the centre’s move to city hall.

She also noted there are now 12 outdoor dining opportunities downtown, with more in the works.

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Among changes were the movement of traffic lights through the downtown corridor as well as construction of the Ross Street underpass.

“While we know this is just a temporary disruption to the way we operate downtown,” she said of the underpass, “we cannot wait to see what the finished product will allow us, moving from the streets to the waterfront.”

She said new business mixes downtown are bringing in new ideas and new energies, so alternate business hours and days of operation can be considered.

“We’re really looking to see how we can increase our evening and weekend culture.”

Ron Langridge, DSA president, thanked Broadwell and Althea Mongerson, the association’s member and community coordinator, for all their work and their part in increasing collaboration with other entities.

“During the last year or two years our relations with city hall and SAEDS (Salmon Arm Economic Development Society) have really strengthened. Communication lines are wide and open and free flowing. It’s been a real pleasure to see that develop,” he said.

He added: “Speaking on behalf of the board, everybody is extremely excited, impressed and happy with the work you’ve been doing. Especially through Covid, it’s been remarkable.”

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