Representatives from the Summerland Chamber of Commerce and municipal council were out last Thursday during the chamber’s business walk event. From left are chamber manager Christine Petkau

Representatives from the Summerland Chamber of Commerce and municipal council were out last Thursday during the chamber’s business walk event. From left are chamber manager Christine Petkau

Longer shopping hours discussed

A number of downtown business owners and managers would like to see extended shopping hours in the downtown area.

A number of downtown business owners and managers would like to see  extended shopping hours in the downtown area.

The suggestion was made during last Thursday’s business walk event.

Five teams, made up of representatives from the Summerland Chamber of Commerce and municipal council, met with 40 to 50 businesses in the downtown area and on Rosedale Avenue on the morning of April 14.

“Everybody’s feedback has been very positive,” said Christine Petkau, executive director of the chamber. The responses will be studied later.

Petkau said several business owners indicated they would like to see downtown businesses stay open later in the day.

A few downtown businesses are either in the process of expanding or are considering an expansion, Petkau added.

The business walk teams also discussed succession planning with the business owners.

Concerns have been raised about who will buy or take over an established small business once the existing owner retires.

“It’s happening all over British Columbia,” Petkau said. “This is a demographic issue.”