The Salmon Arm Chamber of Commerce wants to know how many people are buying gas out of town, how often and where.
On Wednesday the chamber will be releasing a public survey to help gauge local purchasing habits related to gasoline. The survey asks how often people are filling up out of town, where and for what reason. It also touches on out-of-town shopping trips.
Chamber president Jim Kimmerly says the intent of the survey is to gather hard data to assist the chamber in its ongoing effort to make sure Salmon Arm and Shuswap residents are receiving a fair price at the gas pump. In addition, Kimmerly says the survey results may provide a better understanding of how lower gas prices in communities like Enderby and Vernon are hurting local businesses.
“Once we get back that type of information – and I have a sense it’s probably going to show a fair amount of people buying gas out of town – then we’ve got something else to work with with the petroleum companies,” said Kimmerly, adding the information received will be used in further discussions with petroleum companies, whose own local franchises may be losing out by lower pricing elsewhere.
“With people buying their gas out of town, that’s OK with the petroleum companies, they’re getting the business, but their dealers aren’t getting the business here,” said Kimmerly.
As of Jan. 16, regular gas in Salmon Arm was at 125.9 per litre. In Vernon it was between 120.9 and 121.9, Enderby between 119.9 and 121.9 and, in Kelowna, it could be purchased for as low as 115.9, with the majority of stations at 117.9
The survey will be available Friday, Jan. 24 on the chamber’s website at www.sachamber.bc.ca, and completed surveys will be accepted until Friday, Feb. 7.