Business Resources for Entrepreneurs
When you start a business downtown, you’re not just opening your doors, you’re joining a close-knit community of like-minded and supportive entrepreneurs. You also have the full weight of the Downtown Williams Lake Business Improvement Association behind you.
Here are just a few of the ways we work on behalf of our business members:
- Our revitalized signage, billboards, and other wayfinding tools direct traffic to the downtown.
- Our branded street banners, award-winning street art program, and annual events create a sense of place.
- Our collective digital and traditional marketing strategies benefit all downtown businesses.
- Our close collaboration with the City of Williams Lake’s Economic Development Department helps to encourage economic growth and development within the downtown.
Our partners are here to help you, too!
City of Williams Lake. The City’s Economic Development Office is actively engaged in creating and maintaining a positive economic environment that encourages industrial and commercial investment. To explore economic development opportunities, please contact 250-392-8480 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit their website to access their resources which are intended to assist businesses and entrepreneurs with opportunities and site selection analysis: https://www.williamslake.ca/208/Economic-Development. City staff are also available to help with applying for a business license (250-392-1765 or email@example.com) or to answer questions about taxation (250-392-2311 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Community Futures Cariboo Chilcotin. Known as a small business resource centre, the friendly Community Futures team is available to assist with business lending, workshops and training, business plan consultation, succession planning, and start-up mentoring. Call them at 1-888-879-5399, visit their office at 266 Oliver Street in Williams Lake or browse their website at http://www.cfdccariboo.com/.
Williams Lake & District Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber is a dedicated group of local businesses committed to providing a unified voice for the interests of the business community as well as great networking opportunities, including 10 luncheon functions each year. They also operate the Williams Lake Visitor Information Centre, host the annual Business Excellence Awards, and are involved in many other business- and community-focussed events throughout the year. The Chamber of Commerce offers benefits to its members, including savings on credit and debit card fees, vehicle fuel and propane, accommodations, products and services, group insurance benefits, reduced rates for fitness passes at the Cariboo Memorial Complex, and memberships in the BC and Canadian Chambers of Commerce. Call them at 250-392-5025 or toll-free at 1-877-967-5253. Visit them in person at 1660 South Broadway.
Why start a business in Downtown Williams Lake?
Four Directions Service Area. Located in the Central Interior of British Columbia, Williams Lake serves as a hub for the Cariboo-Chilcotin region. We are situated at the intersection of Hwy 20 and Hwy 97, which means that all traffic must pass directly through the City of Williams Lake. We are a retail and service hub for many surrounding communities north, south, east, and west of town. In fact, with a population of approximately 10,500 people, it is estimated that we actually serve a population of over double that number. As such, the city represents a diverse community including a large Indigenous population.
Opportunity to Fill Gaps. Unlike larger centres, Williams Lake still has plenty of opportunity to provide retail, restaurant, and service offerings to fill gaps in the community. These opportunities would be well-met by an eager and engaged consumer-base. From an Indian food restaurant to a menswear store to indoor recreation hang-outs for children and youth – we’d love to help you brainstorm!
Affordability. The cost of doing business in Downtown Williams Lake tends to be lower than in bigger centres including reasonable real estate prices and inexpensive commercial rent.
The Great Cariboo Outdoors. Williams Lake is surrounded by an expansive and diverse natural world – six distinct ecosystems to be exact – creating infinite hiking opportunities, unparalleled wildlife viewing, and stunning vistas that will take your breath away. Known as the Shangri-La of mountain biking, Williams Lake also boasts one of the largest legal trail networks in Canada. Right in town there is an 18-hole golf course, a bike park, and several yoga and fitness studios. The Cariboo is home to literally thousands of bodies of water, providing endless opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, fishing, paddling, and other water sports. In the winter, residents enjoy the skating arena, curling rink, and many cross-country ski trails.
Lifestyle. Williams Lake benefits from first-rate arts and education amenities including Thompson Rivers University, the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex, the Central Cariboo Arts Centre, Dance in Common dance school, and the Williams Lake Studio Theatre.
Colourful Cariboo Culture. Call us biased but we love our downtown which is at once vibrant and laidback. Our brand – Colourful Cariboo Culture – is a reflection of our proud, pioneering, and welcoming people and embodied in the unique shops and lively eateries within our business community.
Need a location? The following property managers can help you find the perfect spot.
- Marian Gibb, Remax (250-392-2253)
- Carol Ann Taphorn, Interior Properties (250-392-0633)
- Marilyn Martin, Interior Properties (250-398-9889)
Downtown Williams Lake Annual Report
Busy, busy! We’ve recently completed a comprehensive rebranding process. Read all about it in our Annual Report.
Our monthly newsletter, written specifically with our members in mind, includes all the latest Downtown Williams Lake news, upcoming events, opportunities to get involved, and helpful tips for businesses. With around 350 businesses downtown, as much as we’d love to, we cannot come door-to-door to everyone regarding project and event involvement. Our newsletter will ensure that you are informed and invited. Don’t be left in the dark – subscribe today!
We want to hear from you
Whether you’d like to send us a suggestion or get involved with our many projects and programs, your engagement helps us do a better job. Our office hours are 9:30 to 2:30 Monday to Thursday.
Downtown Williams Lake BIA
Visit: 327 Oliver St. Williams Lake, BC V2G 1M4
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