Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:
The City of Williams Lake’s Second Quarter Economic Indicators report shows that building permit values of $9.5 million for the first six months of the year are the highest since 2008.
The West Fraser planer mill project is valued at $5.4 million and home building permits of $1.6 million form the majority of the building permit value. In 2008, the Retirement Concepts care facility, valued at $8.5 million, the fire hall ($4.7 million), and renovations to Safeway ($1.3 million) increased the building permit values to $15.2 million as of June 2008. Values have varied between $3.9 million and $8.9 million between 2009 and 2012.
The report also shows a decline in the Cariboo region’s unemployment rate, from 7.4% in June 2012 to 5% in June 2013. The provincial average is 6.4%. In addition, the selling price of single family residences has risen over last year to $247,213, gold prices remain strong, and lumber prices continue to rise.
The report also notes that objectives of the City’s Official Community Plan (OCP) include working to enhance the community as an appealing, interesting, and friendly place to do business, visit, and live. With that in mind the City has developed a Business Façade Improvement Program, and applied for NDIT funding to implement the initiative. The focus of the program will be to support business owners in the downtown and highway commercial areas of the City with building façade improvements. Façade improvements can help a business be more visible and accessible to customers. The program guidelines will encourage façade improvements that lend to a Cariboo theme – using wood and stone – which is another OCP goal area. A number of businesses have completed impressive improvements over the past several years and this program has the potential to build on and encourage more investment of this type, making our City all the more attractive. If the program funding is approved, the program will be implemented the week of July 22, 2013.
The Second Quarter Economic Indicators report contains economic statistics from the City of Williams Lake, the provincial and federal governments (unemployment rate) and the Northern BC Real Estate Board. It provides a snapshot of the first quarter of 2013, compared to the first quarters of previous years. The report is available on the City’s website at www.williamslake.ca, under the Business tab.