Lake Cowichan will soon have its first retail cannabis store.
Construction is currently underway and Jerry’s Cannabis retail store is expected to open for business by the end of January.
Jerry’s Cannabis has a location in Ladysmith, which opened in May, and the opening of a second store in Lake Cowichan is hoped to be just the next in a series of outlets that will see Jerry’s Cannabis spread throughout the region, and beyond, according to owner Steve Elkiw.
Elkiw said business has been good at the Ladysmith store since it opened, but the fact that he started the business during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has provided many challenges, as it has for most of the business community.
“While there has been challenges, we’re really happy with the reception the community gave us here,” he said.
“We’re hoping for better things in the future.”
Elkiw said he chose to open the second location of Jerry’s Cannabis in Lake Cowichan because it will be the first retail cannabis store in that community and he believes there is a market there for his products.
He said servicing smaller communities has also become part of the company’s identity and brand.
“We’re not big business people and we’re not a big corporation,” Elkiw said. “We’re just a few local people with home-grown values and we saw an opportunity to expand into a small town that fits that identity. We expect that smaller centres may be skipped by the larger cannabis companies as the industry grows.”
Elwik said Jerry’s Cannabis has almost completed the long and arduous application processes that are in place to regulate new recreational cannabis businesses.
“For all intents and purposes, we’ve completed the process,” he said.
Changes are occurring with a change in ownership for the new Chemainus Public Market on Willow Street.
Local business owner and entrepreneur Patricia Berry has purchased Warren Goulding’s shares.
She is very excited to become an integral part of the market community and the town of Chemainus, joining her business partner Tony van de Mortel as co-owner of the Chemainus Public Market.
Berry will also run the daily operations of the market as the managing director.
She’s already well-known as the managing director and marketing executive of the Osborne Bay Pub in Crofton and Berry Music Company that is in charge of the live music scene at the pub.
Acquiring her shares in the market only a short time ago, Berry has enthusiastically plunged into her new duties running the market.
She has a very clear vision of continuing the wonderful work put forth in the creation of the market.
Berry has devised a solid plan for the future of the business with a definitive market strategy and is eager to put that plan into action.
“I look forward to finding numerous ways to contribute to the local community, with a focus on fun, food, and flare,” Berry said.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Cowichan Neighbourhood House Association in Chemainus.
Cowichan Neighbourhood House is a volunteer-run resource and youth centre that provides educational and recreational activities for families, youth and individuals as well as resources to those in need.
While the building is only open three days a week during the COVID-19 crisis, volunteers are constantly busy behind the scenes meeting all the necessary requirements to provide for the community before Christmas.
A couple of recent donations will go a long way toward supporting the association’s causes, with $5,000 from Western Forest Products and $2,500 from the Chemainus Rotary Club.
“In a way, COVID has created more work and we have to spread it out now,” said Cowichan Neighbourhood House’s Chris Robinson.
In accepting the donation from WFP, Robinson told Chemainus sawmill’s operations manager Kevin Somerville, “that gives us the confidence to say we’re ready, we can do everything.”
WFP makes funds available to such organizations in the communities where its operations are located from Port McNeill to south of Duncan on the Island.
The Chemainus Rotary bottle drop-off on Chemainus Road every Saturday morning has proven to be a tremendous success, so the club can in turn offer its support to Cowichan Neighbourhood House and many other worthwhile projects.
Cowichan Neighbourhood House’s big task of distributing gift and food hampers in the time leading up to Christmas is now well underway, with the first 38 gift and food hampers going out on Dec. 16.
Providence Farm is delighted to receive a $5,000 donation from Island Ford.
Providence Farm is a registered charity with a mission to serve the needs and foster the talents of people in the Cowichan Valley, especially of those not easily accepted elsewhere.
Programs and activities demonstrate the therapeutic benefits of nature and community, especially for those who face challenges and barriers in their lives.
“Together we steward the earth and care for each other, creating opportunities for renewal and learning in safe and supportive spaces by working with the land,” said a press release from Providence Farm.
“This generous donation from Island Ford assists Providence Farm to impact the lives of so many Cowichan Valley citizens. Many thanks to Island Ford.”
The BC Marketplace is an online resource showcasing more than 1,500 B.C.-based businesses that helps boost small-business growth and encourages British Columbians to buy local.
The BC Marketplace was launched in April, 2020, by Small Business BC to give immediate support to small businesses during COVID-19 when consumer shopping trends shifted online.
With a growing number of businesses joining the online community, the BC Marketplace has become a long-term solution for B.C. businesses.
It allows them to create or enhance their online presence and reach more customers at no cost.
The B.C. government and the Government of Canada, through Western Economic Diversification Canada, have each provided $169,000 to Small Business BC for the BC Marketplace.
The funding was used to improve the website’s functionality, including enhanced profiles for small businesses and regional search capabilities for consumers.
“British Columbians understand the value of supporting local businesses, and the BC Marketplace is a great tool to help people shop local,” said Ravi Kahlon, B.C.’s minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation.
“It is also a great way for businesses to showcase their products and services. With the holiday season upon us, let’s recommit to shop local and offer support to people working in our communities.”
For more information on the BC Marketplace, visit https://marketplacebc.ca/