Business owners in Sicamous are struggling to find commercial space, pausing post-pandemic progress.
According to Carly Procyshyn, economic development coordinator for the District of Sicamous Development Corporation, while there are currently seven businesses for sale along with a parcel of land in the Sicamous Business Park, there is no commercial office space available to rent or lease.
This shortage is proving detrimental to business owners looking to expand or bring new services to Sicamous. “I have been dealing with a few businesses that would like to set up shop in Sicamous, but are waiting for some space to open up,” Procyshyn told Black Press Media in an email.
One such business looking for space is Boujee Beauty Lounge salon.
Currently operating out of a small rented room, owner Destiny Chambers says her hopes of renting a larger space or purchasing a building are stalled due to the lack of commercial space.
“There was a salon that did pop up, and it was pretty much like eight people battling, which was crazy. But a lady from Calgary ended up getting it, so now I’m actually renting a room off her.”
She says she is now building a separate, home-based salon on her property because there are no other options available if she wishes to maintain her business in the community.
Brenda Dalzell, who owns shared office space in hub Bruhn Crossing, says Sicamous desperately needs long-term solutions and street-front space to allow businesses to thrive all year long.
“We need year-round business; that’s really what we need more of as a tourism-driven economy.”
Bruhn Crossing currently houses multiple businesses out of shipping containers on their lot, including Johnny’s Ice Cream Parlor and Hone & Strop Barber Co.
A recent commercial real estate report from RE/MAX found that the shortage of commercial space is present across the country. The report states that 92 per cent of markets surveyed across the country reported incredibly tight market conditions for industrial product in the first quarter of 2022, and 67 per cent of markets surveyed found challenges leasing industrial space.
Procyshyn said that it is a priority for the district to work with other stakeholders toward developing solutions to the lack of commercial space.