Independent owner key to lower gas prices

There’s opportunity for an independent gas service station in Salmon Arm; what’s needed now is someone to act on it

Jim Kimmerly

Jim Kimmerly

There’s opportunity for an independent gas service station in Salmon Arm; what’s needed now is someone to act on it.

Last week, the Salmon Arm Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Society met with  gas industry representatives to discuss the prospects of bringing an independent owner/operator into the community. Chamber president Jim Kimmerly said the purpose of the meeting was to see if there was any support for the idea, and check out suitable locations. The outcome, he says, was very positive and the consensus was there’s a great opportunity for “the right kind of dealer” in Salmon Arm.

“The right kind of dealer would be somebody that has a bit of a promotional flare to them,” said Kimmerly. “And being an independent, that would be part of the nature of that person going into that kind of business, so they would have the ability to adjust gas prices periodically.”

The meeting was prompted by what Kimmerly has described as a lack of competition between the city’s service stations, with gas prices that are typically higher than in neighbouring communities.

“So now, what has to happen from our end, our end being the chamber and EDS, is we have to do a bit of a search to see if we can find somebody here, locally, who has a good understanding of the market and is interested in that kind of operation,” said Kimmerly. “And then we would get them hooked up with the appropriate people to go from there.”

Kimmerly says he’s confident an independent owner/operator would do “extremely well.”

Regarding the recent public gas price protests, Kimmerly says it’s good to see more people becoming involved, and that petroleum companies see it’s not just the chamber and its membership who are frustrated and want change.

“I kind of hope they can grow that to a larger format so that message gets out even more clearly,” said Kimmerly. “I know the operators here in town, they hate to see this happen and they don’t have the control over it. They would love to see Salmon Arm be more competitive but it’s out of their hands.”